Innovative bus driver training for SA
As most children return to school during September, many parents may rely on midi-buses to transport their children to school. Unfortunately, however, every so often a story makes it into the news about a tragic accident involving a bus of some kind.
As the operator of school transport midi-buses, you need to be sure that your drivers are up to the task. The managing director of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, explains: “School bus drivers in South Africa face a unique set of challenges. The passengers can often be noisy, rowdy and a distraction.
“When they arrive at their destination the bus driver is not only responsible for seeing the children off the bus but making sure that they cross the road and get to their destinations safely. They also need to contend with other harried vehicle drivers that don’t necessarily pass them in a way that prioritises the safety of the children.”
Consequently, the first step in ensuring you have the best drivers is checking that they have the necessary qualifications. “Make sure your bus drivers is well acquainted with K53 driving theory. They also need to be in possession of a Professional Driving Permit (PDP) which must be renewed every two years.
“In addition to the legal requirements, implement your own policies such as performing background checks on the drivers, check their safety records and require bus driver training every two years. This includes regularly checking telematics data to determine where improvement is needed.”
The roadworthiness of the bus also needs to be of the highest standard at all times. “The bus industry and government work together to specify the technical standards required in the construction and components of buses. These requirements are also updated following bus accidents.
“In recent years, attention has been paid to the rollover of buses. MasterDrive has paid attention to the prevalence of rollovers in midi-buses. Consequently, a rollover prevention course is available for midi-bus drivers. It makes use of the same technology used in the rollover prevention training used in trucks. The technology allows bus drivers to feel what the limits of the vehicle are without actually going all the way over.”
If you are the operator of school bus transport that makes use of midi-buses, the MasterBus training program is ideal for your business. “You need to be sure that the person transporting such precious cargo does not only have the necessary qualifications but the extra training that will make them the best person possible to keep school children safe,” says Herbert.
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