‘SmartDriver‘ for School Bus

(Component of ‘FleetSmart‘)

Strict emission standards for heavy-duty diesel vehicles, the mandatory use of ultra-low-sulphur diesel, as well as periodic government emission testing all contribute to the school bus’ low environmental impact. To further reduce students’ exposure to school bus emissions, many school boards and school bus companies enforce anti-idling policies.

SmartDriver for School Bus is a component of FleetSmart, a program dedicated to the energy-efficient practices to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Natural Resources Canada created this environmentally friendly training program to minimize operating costs and contribute to a healthier environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

What exactly is SmartDriving?  SmartDriving is a combination of skills and attitudes, such as reading traffic conditions, avoiding traffic congestion, maintaining safe following distance, driving within the speed limit and staying calm and alert.  The added benefit is that bus drivers can help prevent accidents in spite of the actions of others.

SmartDriving is not just a one day course, it’s a driving style. It involves changing driving habits and one’s physical and mental state.

Canada’s transportation sector produces about 177 million tones (Mt) of GHGs every year, up from 147 Mt in 1990. Current projections estimate that by 2010 emissions will grow to 197 Mt – equal to the combined weight of every human on the planet!

Every action taken at the wheel can help reduce emissions, lower fuel bills and even prevent accidents, demonstrating that child safety is the priority.

Being in tune with a bus’s condition can also help reduce emissions. If unusual noises are detected or there are changes in the way the bus is driving, supervisors can be advised immediately. Preventive maintenance includes topping up oil, changing filters on time and checking for proper tire pressure.

Municipal anti-idling laws help reduce emissions and always should be adhered to. Under normal operating conditions, a bus should only be allowed to idle for less than five minutes. In extremely cold weather, it should not be allowed to idle for more than 10 minutes. Non-productive idling can lead to higher fuel bills, increased maintenance costs, fines, increased emissions and shortened engine life.

For more information regarding FleetSmart, visit SmartDriver for School Bus.