Tuesday, June 5, 2012

DLSU Greenhills Holds Safety Seminar for School Bus Drivers


In preparation for school opening this June, La Salle Greenhills held a safety seminar for school bus drivers on 31 May 2012. Hosted by the PALS (Parents Association of La Salle) under the leadership of  president Cindy Banaria and Information Chair Fe Rizo, the safety seminar consisted of a specially-designed two-hour module aimed at re-orienting drivers to defensive driving and other safety considerations.  More than 80 participants listened to the resource speakers led by former LTO/LTFRB chair Alberto Suansing, who is now executive director of PGRSP (Philippine Global Road Safety Partnership).  The seminar is part of PALS' thrust to look after the safety and welfare of LSGH students.

The program--aimed at school bus drivers, family drivers and parent-drivers--was customized by Safe-T-Ryders Training Center to focus on safety awareness, particularly since they are entrusted with the care of school children.  The seminar covered the following topics:

Defensive driving as an attitude and mindset. 

Due to lack of proper training and prolonged interaction with unruly public utility drivers, the common Filipino driver has learned to adopt an aggressive attitude while driving. This safety seminar aimed to re-orient drivers by reminding them of the basic rules of road use and the negative consequences of not observing them.

Traffic rules, road signs and markings. 

Without formal driving lessons, most Filipino drivers have little knowledge about traffic rules, road signs and markings. To fill in this gap in knowledge, basic rules and common road signs/markings were discussed, and drivers were encouraged to learn the rules and signs for their safety as well as their passengers’.

Right of way rules. 

Most collisions occur at intersections. The seminar familiarized drivers with the guidelines to observe when crossing intersections so that they can take proper precautions, especially when these crossings are not controlled by traffic signals or enforcers.

Vehicle dynamics. 

Drivers were also made to understand the simple laws of physics that affect vehicle handling. For instance, a vehicle loaded with passengers (hence, heavier weight) will require a longer braking distance compared to a similar but empty vehicle.

Factors affecting driving. 

The instructors discussed several factors that could affect driver perception and judgment, with special emphasis on the dangerous effects of alcohol and other intoxicating substances.
Duties and responsibilities of school service operators.  A special resource person, Alberto Suansing, current executive director of the PGRSP, reviewed for the participants the various Memo Circulars of LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board) regulating school shuttle service operators.  He gamely answered numerous queries from operators and drivers about commonly misunderstood rules on school service operation.

Safe-T-Ryders founder Arnel Doria remarked: “We would like to congratulate the parents and faculty of La Salle Greenhills for taking this proactive measure to ensure the safety of their students. On a daily basis, we entrust our children to the care of drivers, whether they are taking the school bus or using the family car. Through these types of road safety seminars, we are taking that extra step to keep our children safe as they travel to and from school.”

Cindy Banaria, president of PALS La Salle Greenhills, observed that: “The driving safety seminar was appreciated by the operators and drivers themselves.   The teaching approach was very practical and close to real life.  It is indeed a change of mindset for the participants especially for the drivers.  We felt that we gave the drivers and operators a big favor and more so for the parents of the children that they drive for. Safety is very important in our daily lives. The seminar harps on the safety aspect on the road.  Thank you, Safe-T-Ryders.”

PALS education chairperson Fe Rizo added, “The seminar provided an opportunity for the school bus drivers and operators to gain a new perspective about safety driving, unlearn old notions and begin having a new mindset focused on safety. For us parents, we are more at peace with the thought that the people driving our children are now equipped with a new attitude to transport them safely to and from school. Our children will be safer than ever beginning now!”

Safe-T-Ryders Training Center was established by Arnel Doria, a respected marketing executive who played a major role in establishing Honda as a leading car brand in the Philippines. He was also instrumental in setting up the country’s first integrated vehicle training center, the Honda Safety Driving Center. 

Safe-T-Ryders is manned by Julius Ballesteros, a TESDA-certified instructor who has just returned from an overseas stint as a safety driving instructor of a large Saudi Arabian company. He is assisted by Sulfikar Guiabel, an experienced LTO-accredited driving instructor.

For more information about Safe-T-Ryders programs and services, please call 208-8035 or (932) 872-3389, or visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/safetryders.

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