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.
The federal Department of Natural Resources created an 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 around you, avoiding traffic congestion, driving within the speed limit and staying calm and alert to be a defensive driver. The added benefit to 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 lifestyle. It involves changing the way driving habits and your physical and mental state. The fuel efficiency of your vehicle can be changed by using alternative fuels such as biodiesel, natural gas, hythane (hydrogen compressed natural gas), propane or fuel cells.
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 you take 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 your vehicle can also help reduce emissions. If you notice unusual noises or changes in the way the bus is driving, advise your supervisor immediately. Preventive maintenance includes topping up oil, changing filters on time and checking to make sure the tire pressure is up to the vehicle requirement and tread is not wearing thin.
Ontario anti-idling laws help reduce emissions and always should be adhered to. Under normal operating conditions, your 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.
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