More than 700 drivers and bus attendants have recently been trained in Abu Dhabi on safe driving practices, safety measures, and traffic regulations. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: As part of a drive to ensure safe bus transport for schoolchildren, more than 700 drivers and bus attendants have recently been trained in Abu Dhabi on safe driving practices, safety measures, and traffic regulations.

Organised by transport provider, STS Group, the Safe Driver training event was held at the Abu Dhabi GEMS United Indian School, and saw the participation of traffic officials from the Abu Dhabi Police and the emirate’s public transport regulator, the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC). A total o 556 school bus drivers were in attendance, along with 150 bus attendants.

“The safety of our customers and employees will always be our priority. School bus safety begins with positive and professional driving behaviour. The Safe Driver Campaign serves as a platform to ensure our values of Safe, Timely, Smart resonate with every employee in the workforce,” said Steve Burnell, STS Group managing director.

School bus safety

School buses has been at the fore of discussions on traffic safety with the start of the new academic term on August 29. Traffic officials have been urging motorists to give priority to school buses in order to safeguard children using them. A comprehensive awareness campaign by the UAE Ministry of Interior and Abu Dhabi Police has also highlighted the need for motorists to stop completely at a distance of at least five metres when school buses display the Stop sign as children are boarding or disembarking.

STS Group currently provides transport to more than 81,000 students across 83 schools in the UAE using a fleet of 3,200 smart buses.

Safety instructions

During the training, authorities stressed the need to ensure that all bus cameras remain unobstructed and operational at all times. Drivers were warned not to use mobile phones while driving, and the need for children to be safely buckled in was stressed. Trainers also discussed the alert contact process, ways to manage personal time and fatigue, and the vehicle shutdown safety procedures.

Avoiding human error

“Statistics show that more than 90 per cent of road accidents happen because of human error. Responsible fleet operators like STS Group must continuously educate their school bus drivers on anticipating the possible errors of other road users and keep training their defensive driving skills,” added Thomas Edelmann, managing director of traffic safety awareness platform, RoadSafetyUAE.

A short and informative video on the key safe driving practices, developed by the STS Group, was featured at the event. The video elaborated on the Do’s & Don’ts of safe driving. and advised the school bus drivers on the safety protocols they must adhere to during bus journeys. Going forward, the campaign video will serve as a platform for instruction during staff training. A performance analysis platform has been developed to measure the effectiveness of the training workshops.