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Nichols said that leaders on the school board and in


the superintendent’s office must be very vocal about the district’s commitment to safety. “They don’t have to be experts, but they need a clear, coherent and inspiring elevator speech about safety. Districts need to appoint someone to be the number one leader with safety as their job responsibility.” First Student continuously reminds its employees in


more than 550 locations across North America through safety programs and messages from the top. In April, a sponsored paper, “Strategies for School Bus Safe- ty Success,” touted safety cultures that are promoted through “comprehensive training programs, rigorous background checks and employee behavior positive reinforcement.” The paper outlined the role that every- one plays in establishing a safety culture, which includes educators, community members and law enforcement. “A student transportation provider must demonstrate


that a positive safety culture begins at the top level in the organization,” wrote Daryl Hill, First Student’s vice president of safety. “The strongest predictor of safety performance is leadership and safety culture.”


Part of a sustained safety culture is the built-in ability to


respond swiftly when glitches do occur. This was demon- strated recently when the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission fined First Student $23,700, after discovering more than 150 violations of state and fed- eral transportation safety laws during a routine 2017-2018 school year inspection at one district. UTC reprimanded First Student for 99 instances of failing to require drivers to prepare inspection reports, and 44 instances of hiring a driver without a pre-employment drug test. The school bus contractor responded by immediate-


ly creating an action plan to correct the findings of the inspection. “The plan included leadership changes, digital record-keeping, file storage, and implementing a safety wellness check at each location, to ensure all proper licen- sure and preventative maintenance programs are in place,” said Chris Kemper, senior director of corporate commu- nications. “The state approved our action plan, showing that all infractions found in the previous years had been addressed and corrected. The state maintained our satis- factory rating as a transportation provider.” Some other private transporters have not been so re-


Allow to provide


tariff-free tires by the container.


Mission Excellence is a philosophy that shapes the way you are treated as a customer. This led us to increase tariff -free tire output in our Thailand factory.


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32 School Transportation News • JULY 2019


Date: 06/12/19 Client: CMA Account Director: Van Nguyen Color: 4C/Process


Job #: 2821 Editor:


Trim: 7"× 4.875"


File Name: 2821-CMA-SchoolTransportation-JULY-HP-R1 Designer: BC Bleed: n/a


Revised By: Safety: n/a


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©2019 CMA, LLC.


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