To coincide with the start of the school year, Daimler AG is extending its initiative aimed at helping to increase road safety for school buses. As announced today by Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses, up until the end of October 2009 the company will be offering its Omniplus SafetyTraining course for school bus drivers and pupils at a discount of 30%.

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Furthermore, the first 15 schools and bus companies to register jointly will receive the training free of charge. The normal cost for such training is 1900 euros. Up to 12 school bus drivers and 4 classes of school pupils can take part in the training at any one time. In the case of the pupils, the training deals with the correct way to behave at bus stops, when getting on and off the bus, and also when on the bus itself, as well as the correct way to cross the road. What is meant by the blind spot, and what can happen to school children who may be standing on the bus if the driver suddenly has to brake harshly, even at a relatively low speed?

These are precisely the types of questions which the training aims to address. As part of the process, communication between the children and „their“ bus drivers is promoted in an effort to build up an understanding between them when it comes to how to behave in what can often be very stressful everyday situations. In addition, the bus drivers themselves receive information on their duties and rights when driving in road traffic, as well as information on the technical aspects of their vehicles and also comparisons of braking distances. For the theoretical aspects, the Omniplus trainers visit the schools, and any practical exercises take place in the actual buses at or in the vicinity of the schools.

According to Hartmut Schick, Head of Daimler Buses: „School bus road safety is a major concern for us, which is why we want to provide as much support as we can to bus companies and pupils in this respect, to encourage them to make even better use of our products“. The company started the initiative for increased road safety for school buses in July 2009 with its free school bus check-up. This is carried out as part of the safety inspections and main inspections and comprises 17 points of specific relevance to school transport services which are examined in addition to the regular tests carried out. The offer has met with a tremendous response from bus companies and transport operators alike, so much so that the Omniplus ServiceCenters have now already carried out the school bus check-up on a high number of buses, including entire vehicle fleets. As a supplement to the school bus check-up, a number of the most common accessories and replacement parts, such as school bus signs, retaining straps, warning signs, safety vests, etc, are also available at attractive prices. As a result of the great demand for both the school bus check-up and the parts offer, Omniplus has extended the campaign until the end of 2009.

Safety training for bus drivers has formed part of Daimler’s Omniplus range of services since 1993. The special school bus training courses were introduced as part of the programme in 2004. A total of around 14,000 drivers have taken advantage of the training courses on offer, although so far there has been less demand for the special school bus training courses. Omniplus safety training courses are recognised as professional training in accordance with the new „Berufskraftfahrer-Qualifikations-Gesetz“ (professional driver qualification law).

Source: Daimler AG