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Safety

About

The safety and well being of the students we transport and all of our staff is of the highest importance to the Attridge family of companies.

All of our employees are committed to the safe, secure and on-time transportation of all of our riders. Attridge places great importance on drivers, the training that they receive and the equipment that they use.

Relevant and ongoing training

Attridge Transportation understands that continuous relevant training for existing employees is an essential component of safe operation and driver retention through learning and upgrading.

Driver Education and Training

All training by Attridge Transportation has given to new applicants, existing employees and previously licensed school/coach bus drivers from other companies is provided by a Signing Authority member of the Safety and Training Department. Attridge is a Recognized Authority of the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). This allows the company to train and test its employees for license upgrades or renewals.

What is a signing authority: This process requires that the individual delivering the training program and providing the testing must be approved by the MTO as a Signing Authority. A potential signing authority must have an exemplary driving record and proven bus driving experience before applying to the PRIDE program. PRIDE is “professional instructor in driver education.” PRIDE is a joint venture of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Ontario School Bus Association and the Ontario Motor Coach Association. This program teaches driver instructors on how to:

  • recognize the learning styles of bus drivers
  • effectively communicate
  • confidently instruct students
  • document the process in detail
  • effectively teach vehicle components and advanced driving techniques
  • effectively train and test to company and Ministry of Transportation standards

This training and testing combined with our state of the art manual under the guidance of the Manager of Safety and Training and Safety Trainers result in the safest drivers available and operating on behalf of this company.

In addition, many members of the Department are also certified instructors in:

  • Air brake instruction
  • Professional driver improvement

Strict control of the training content, trainer ability and the use of a detailed and thorough training module has contributed to safer operation of our vehicles and an ongoing commitment to improving the transportation experience of our passengers. The process has been validated and continues to be monitored on a monthly basis through a review of our Level II Commercial Vehicle Operator Registration (CVOR). Some drivers that have demonstrated an excellent and ongoing commitment to safety, students and employment are selected to assist within the Safety Department. These junior members of the team help with recruitment, scheduling classes and preparing the classroom for the next instructional component. These driver helpers must demonstrate a further commitment to safety instruction to be considered for selection as a potential Signing Authority.

What license standards are required:

All Attridge Transportation drivers have an E or B license to operate any vehicle appropriate to their class of license. An additional Z endorsement is offered to those drivers that will operate the 72 passenger vehicles with air brake systems. A minimum of an E license is required to operate even the minivan (5-7 passenger) vehicles. This standard is applied to guarantee that the drivers operating for Attridge Transportation exceed the standard of the Ministry of Transportation and meet the stringent requirements set by this company and its clients.

In addition to training using only Pride certified staff, it is our belief that setting a higher standard for drivers will result in a company with fewer collisions and disciplinary issues. As such, minimum standards to work at this company exceed many of the MTO requirements for school bus drivers.

For example:

  • MTO: Valid Ontario driver’s license
  • Attridge: Valid Ontario driver’s license for a minimum of 2 years
  • MTO: 6 or less demerit points plus no suspensions within a 12 month period for specific infractions
  • Attridge: 0 demerit points and a maximum of 1 point free minor infraction
  • MTO: Valid Ontario driver’s license
  • MTO: No in-depth interview or reference check
  • Attridge: Interview by a Safety Officer and a satisfactory reference check(s)
  • MTO: Criminal background check
  • Attridge: Absolutely clear Vulnerable sector screen in addition to a criminal background check

Vulnerable Sector Screen

A Vulnerable sector screen is now necessary for employment at Attridge Transportation because of the nature of transporting students or vulnerable passengers. This type of screen requires the signed consent of the applicant. The applicant is fully informed of the type of incident (including pardons for a sexual offense) that will be revealed as a result of this screen before sending the applicant for the test. It is the policy of Attridge Transportation that any incident listed on a Vulnerable Sector Screen will reject an applicant from training.

Vehicle Maintenance

Vehicle maintenance in combination with an excellent driver results in a safe, reliable and successful school bus service.

Fleet Inspection Program

Attridge Transportation will provide a fleet maintenance program as follows:

  • Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection (Level 1) every 180 days – This is a full annual safety including all components as detailed in Regulation 611 of the Highway Traffic Act. The MTO is proposing changes to the commercial motor vehicle inspection criteria to adopt the National Safety Code for trucks and buses. Attridge Transportation inspections will meet this proposed standard.
  • Visual safety inspection every 120 days – The Ministry of Transportation requires a minimum of a Level 1 Inspection and a Level 2 inspection on an annual basis. Attridge Transportation far exceeds this standard with 3 Level 1 inspection and 2 Level 2 inspections annually.

Audits

The DM Maintenance program in combination with daily vehicle pre-trip inspections by the driver contributes to the running of a safe and well-maintained fleet. Regular supplemental training of the driver, mechanical staff and administrative staff stress the importance of both maintenance and documentation for audits conducted by School Boards and the Ministry of Transportation or other legislated body. Attridge Transportation is pleased to have achieved a 92% rating on the vehicle portion of the most recent MTO audit. Regular Level II vehicle inspections by the MTO are conducted and very few issues; all minor, are ever identified. Attridge Transportation currently has an “A” mechanical rating with the MTO based on our excellent maintenance record. This is quite impressive considering fleet size, geographic area and traffic in the Greater Toronto Area and staff consistently work hard to maintain this safety rating.