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Operation Lifesaver offers lifesaving educational tools for school bus drivers

(Source: Operation Lifesaver press release, October 23, 2013)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Every school day, 480,000 yellow buses transport children to and from schools throughout the United States, over roads with more than 200,000 railroad grade crossings. According to Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) President and CEO Joyce Rose, it’s imperative that school bus drivers know how to drive safely when they approach highway-rail crossings. Addressing the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Summit here today, Rose outlined how Operation Lifesaver helps prepare bus drivers to safely navigate railroad crossings on their route, and announced that a new interactive educational tool for drivers will soon be available.

“Operation Lifesaver has had a strong relationship with the pupil transportation industry in the four decades of our existence,” said Rose. “Fortunately, there have been very few rail crossing collisions that involve school buses in the last century, and we have not had a fatal school bus rail crossing incident in the United States since 2000. However, the consequences of a school bus-related crossing incident are unthinkably awful,” she noted.

Rose told the transportation officials that Operation Lifesaver’s state programs provide safety training created specifically for school bus drivers. Last year almost 40,000 school bus drivers received Operation Lifesaver crossing safety presentations, with more than 1,000 drivers completing OLI’s video-based school bus driver safety course. She discussed Operation Lifesaver’s educational materials for school bus drivers, which include videos and PowerPoint games.

The OLI president announced that a new, interactive OLI school bus driver e-Learning program will be available free of charge in January 2014 at www.oli.org/schoolbusdriver. She noted that school districts, driver training schools and bus companies with learning management systems may incorporate OLI’s school bus driver e-learning program into their safety training programs, for a modest licensing fee. Rose urged NAPT attendees to “test drive” the new school bus driver e-learning program with OLI Vice President Wende Corcoran at a separate session.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the pupil transportation industry and building on the safety gains we’ve seen,” said Rose. “While our face-to-face safety education efforts will continue, new tools, including online technology, will help us to dramatically expand the audience for our lifesaving messages and materials,” she concluded.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

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