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Driver Safety busride.com | BUSRIDE

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Table of Contents Corporate Overview

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Do it right, the first time, every time – so easy to say

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By Jeff Cassell

What’s the true definition of safety?

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By Jeff Cassell

WIIFM – What’s in it for me?

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By Jeff Cassell

Four steps to success

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By Jeff Cassell

300:29:1

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By Jeff Cassell

Recognition is a powerful incentive

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By Jeff Cassell

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CORPORATE OVERVIEW The experts at The Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO) have been designing award-winning transit training programs for more than 20 years. Until now, their work has been private-labeled to large private contractors. Now, for the first time ever public agencies and private transit companies across the country can benefit from ultra-modern programs that are refreshingly new, entertaining, custom-designed for each type of bus and most importantly, effective. Our seasoned transit professionals, performance improvement experts, industrial psychologists, instructional designers and media producers are all dedicated to helping you deliver on your promise to your customers, Safe, efficient, friendly, ontime transportation. TAPTCO is the first and only professional services company dedicated solely to helping you deliver on your promise.

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Do it right, the first time, every time - so easy to say George, the executive director of the Moston Public Transit Agency, was sitting in his office thinking about all the problems he deals with in the operation of 54 transit buses and 21 paratransit vehicles — driver shortages, customer complaints, accidents. They are never ending; there had to be a better way. George called all his managers to a meeting. “Our drivers are making too many mistakes, all we are doing is putting out fires,” George said. “Surely there is a better way to get our drivers to do the job correctly. What are we doing wrong?” Ian, the lead trainer, frowned and decided to speak up. “We are stuck in the past,” he said. “Almost none of our practices have changed in 10 years. If we try to improve, to use better processes or materials, all we get is resistance. The answer we get is, ‘We have always done it this way.’ We are still using converted old VHS tapes and PowerPoint to train the drivers. They are bored with this and we never have anything new.” Dispatcher Linda Spoken broke into the conversation. “Wait a minute,” she said. “We created those training courses ourselves and they are the best in the nation.” Meanwhile, Ryan Milner, a new supervisor very experienced in the transit business, had been listening as this discussion continued to go to and fro. He asked if he could offer his perspective from what he had learned in his few short months with the agency.

“Poor and outdated” “I am sorry, but our training materials are poor and outdated; not even close to being the best in the nation,” he said. “If we want to improve, make fewer mistakes and incur fewer accidents, we have to change what we do. Our goal must be to get our drivers to Do it right the first time, every time, in everything they do.” “That’s easy to say,” Linda said. “But, how do we do that?” Ryan told her it requires focus, passion and the willingness to try new practices. “It is hard work, but it can be done,” he said. “I suggest that our goals be to establish the safest, most efficient norms in everything we do. Norms that teach, train and persuade our drivers to do it right the first time, every time.” “What do you mean, norms?” asked George. He explained to George that norms are the way people act and perform automatically in everything they do. “Norms are far more powerful than rules, policies and procedures and even laws,” Ryan said. “They are the socially normal way of acting; the way people act themselves and the way they expect and encourage 4

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others to act. If we set our norms at a high level, so that everyone uses best practices in everything they do, we won’t have any need to put out fires.” George said it all sounded great, but wanted to know how the agency could accomplish it. “I will tell you up front - it is not easy, but the returns are huge,” said Ryan. “In fact, it is the only way to consistently operate at a high level.” He explained that many companies operate with a high level of norms and are all very successful. “These companies include FedEx, Target, McDonald’s, Walmart, Apple, Honda, Toyota, and thousands of smaller companies,” Ryan said. As for the Moston Public Transit Agency, Ryan reviewed the practices necessary for delivering the required services at optimum levels, which include recruitment, hiring and selection, credentialing, orientation, training, motivation and leadership. “Only by using best practices in all these functions will we be the best that we can be,” Ryan said. “It is like a sports team. If you have an average team and then buy a great player, you will not have a winning team. A winning team means every position has to play well.” Ryan proceeded to present his plan to the group under five key headings: 1. Leadership 2. Hiring, selection and orientation 3. Training 4. Train the trainers 5. It’s all About People

“We are stuck in the past” “As this meeting is about over,” George interjected, “next week I would like you to share with us what you have learned in each of these disciplines that will help us establish our safest most efficient norms.” Ryan says leadership is by far the most important factor in bringing quality to the training. “How and with what program and tools we train the drivers is the foundation for everything else we do,” Ryan said. “When we help our drivers to do it right the first time, every time, we will have set our highest level of norms. The alternative is to accept mistakes and accidents as a cost of doing business — and keep putting out the fires. There is no other way.” Jeff Cassell is president of Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO), Hudson, OH. TAPTCO provides training courses that change driver behaviors. Visit www.taptco.com

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By Jeff Cassell

What’s the true definition of safety? This is the second article in the Driver Safety series by Jeff Cassell. For the first article, see page 17 of the January 2015 edition of BUSRide. George, executive director of the Moston Public Transit Agency, opened his monthly management meeting by asking what his staff had learned about creating safe norms in their operations since the last meeting. Ryan, a new supervisor, had started this direction and took the lead. “We have had a couple of meetings and talked with a number of

“State requirements are the absolute minimum training.” other agencies and we believe our training is outdated and woefully incomplete,” Ryan said. “If we want to create safe norms, we need a major overhaul.” “Wait a minute, our training meets all the state requirements and we created these materials ourselves,” George interjected.“What are you saying?” “That was my opinion before I investigated what other agencies are doing,” said Linda, the dispatcher. “Each of our programs are stand alone and out of date. Yes, we meet the state requirements but we have learned that the state requirements are the absolute minimum, not the ultimate goal. Think about it, we have been proud of our driver training, when in reality, we have been teaching the absolute minimum possible.” “I see what you mean, but can you explain what you mean with examples?” George asked. “What subject should we be presenting that we don’t train now?” “A trainer from one of the agencies we contacted took us all through a webinar presenting a program called Safety Best Practices,” said Alan, the lead driver trainer. “We do not address any of the critical issues she covered in Safety Best Practices. She started off with asking us to define the word safety. What does the word mean? As we thought about it, we realized none of us knew the true definition.” “I said having no accidents,” added Linda. “I said that it’s acting in a caring way,” Ryan said. “Since then, I have asked many drivers and management and no one knew what safety meant. This is ridiculous.” Ryan paused. “The trainer we contacted explained to us that the definition is freedom from risk,” he said. “If you are free from risk, you are safe. If you reduce risk, you are safer. We then

learned the definition of risk, where risk comes from, and how to remove or reduce risk in everything we do. The Safety Best Practices program brought every one of our goals into perspective and it became clear how to achieve them. We do not know or teach any of these best practices anywhere in our operation.” “Then she explained how to use the tools of a LLLC defensive driving program to remove or reduce risk in everything we do,” Linda said. “This made so much sense.” “LLLC?” George asked. “It stands for Look Ahead, Look Around, Leave Room and Communicate,” Linda said. “Four Safety Best Practices that drivers can use to remove or reduce risk, making everyone safer. Think about it, we have posters in our facilities saying we have a passion for safety, when we don’t even know how to define it. We ask our drivers to drive safely without ever explaining what that means. No wonder we have so many accidents.” “We also learned how these concepts of LLLC can be used to remove or reduce risk in specific practices we need to teach,” Ryan said. “All the safe practices for intersections, lane changing, railroad crossings, and pedestrian awareness relate to each other making the training systematic and integrated. They are not standalone training programs like we use now.” “To instill safe practices into operations, other agencies we talked

“Can you define the word safety?” to have created a vision, mission and values strategy aimed squarely at the drivers,” Alan said. “The Vision is do it right the first time, every time. The Mission is to remove or reduce risk and the Values are to avoid all unsafe behaviors. They have built their training curriculum around these concepts and have achieved tremendous results reducing accidents and improving their overall operations. This is the creed to live by.” “Everything you have talked about, we weren’t even aware of,” George said. ”How can we put this into effect? Ryan, you are in charge, bring an implementation plan to our next meeting.” Jeff Cassell is president of Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO) Hudson, Ohio. TAPTCO provides training courses that change driver behaviors. Visit www.taptco.com

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WIIFM – What’s in it for me? This is the third article in the Driver Safety series by Jeff Cassell. For the full series, visit www.busride.com/ebooks. The Moston Public Transit Agency had decided to completely revitalize their driver training and adopt new vision, mission and values: Vision – Do it right, the first time, every time Mission – Remove or reduce risk Values – No unsafe behaviors

“Accidents are down 50 percent” George, the executive director, had challenged Ryan, a new supervisor, to propose an implementation plan at the agency’s next meeting. As the meeting started, all turned to Ryan to hear the plan. “I have visited four other agencies that have already improved their safest NORMS and adopted the Vision, Mission and Values. I learned all I could about how they did it,” Ryan said. “They all started this around two years ago and one agency confirmed accidents are down 50 percent. The others were all down at least 25 percent.” “We hear these claims all the time,” said Linda, the dispatcher. “Are they real and why are there such huge reductions?” “Yes, they are real and I learned why this works,” Ryan responded. “Simplicity is the key. Each agency changed their training to focus the drivers on adopting this vision, mission and values. They then reinforced 12 actions to put this into practice. These actions are: 1. Leave room – Always stay back at least four seconds 2. Look ahead – Be prepared for what is coming 3. Look around – Allow for what is around you 4. Communicate – Make sure others know what you are going to do 5. Never rush – If late, stay late 6. Don’t back the bus and you have to use GOAL or a spotter 7. “Rock & Roll” for turns 8. Always use the reference points 9. Adjust the mirrors; be able to see all around you 10. Do a thorough pre and post-trip inspection every day 11. Stop at stop signs 12. Smile and be polite at all times – Courtesy is contagious

“WIIFM = What’s In It For Me” 6

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These agencies continually reinforce these desired practices with training and leadership and they stress that these practices are the driver’s creed to live by. They also make sure the driver’s understand the WIIFM and why they should follow these practices. Following these 12 practices would prevent almost every accident we have ever had. This is simple, easy to follow and easy to understand.” “Reinforcing the need for these safe practices makes them the NORM in the agency, and everyone is pulling together to achieve these NORMS,” Ryan added. “What is WIIFM?” George asked. “Everyone who is asked to do something consciously or subconsciously asks, ‘What’s in it for me (WIIFM)?’” Ryan said. “Only if the WIIFM makes sense will the driver change his/her behavior and create these safe NORMS we want to achieve. At the start of creating the safe NORMS we seek, we need to address the WIIFMto achieve the desired behaviors.” “How do we do that?” asked Linda. “Our training should clearly address this,” Ryan said. “We need to explain to all the drivers that they are professionals and that every action they take should follow their mission to remove or reduce risk. Any driver who causes or contributes to an accident is a failure in their profession. No one wants to be a failure and the WIIFM is helping them to understand this. By always following the 12 behaviors we seek, they will never be a failure in their profession. Once they understand that every accident is caused by their unsafe behaviors, they will change these behaviors because it makes so much sense – the WIIFM.” “Going forward, if we have an accident, we will focus on the behavior that led to the accident,” continued Ryan. “We will ask the driver how he failed to change that behavior in spite of the training he received. By working as a team, with driver’s input and following these 12 safe practices, we can influence everyone’s driving practices to do it right, the first time, every time. It all ties together with the vision we seek.” “This sounds great,” George said. “This is straightforward, simple and makes sense. What is the implementation plan?” ”We are already at the end of this meeting,” Ryan said. “We haven’t quite finished the implementation plan and we will present that at the next meeting. We have some great ideas for bringing this to fruition and setting the safest NORMS. This series by Jeff Cassell will continue in the July 2015 issue. Jeff Cassell is president of Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO), Hudson, OH. TAPTCO provides training courses that change driver behaviors. Visit www.taptco.com

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By Jeff Cassell

Four steps for success This is the third article in the Driver Safety series by Jeff Cassell. For the full series, visit www.busride.com/ebooks. Ryan is a new supervisor for the Moston Public Transit Agency. George, the executive director, challenged Ryan to prepare an implementation plan to greatly improve the safety NORMS in their agency. “We think we should implement the plan in five steps,” Ryan said. “Linda will explain the first three.” “Step 1 is that we need all levels of management working together to make this plan work,” Linda said. “We need to go in one direction and stay the course. All supervisors, dispatchers, trainers and every level of management are to be trained in Safety Leadership. We all need to agree the goals and how we will work together to set the safest NORMS. No one should ever turn their back on an unsafe behavior, or they are helping accept unsafe NORMS.” “Step 2 is focusing on the drivers.,” she continued. “We need to train them in Safety Best Practices. Last week I asked around 20 of our drivers the definition of the word safety and absolutely no one was even close. They were all in agreement to having a passion for safety, but were embarrassed to discover they did not even know what safety was. Our training should be such that every driver can immediately react to the following questions, almost without thinking.” Linda laid out the following key concepts: Defining safety – Freedom from risk Defining risk – The possibility of injury or damage to property Defining where risk comes from – Unsafe conditions and unsafe behaviors Name three behaviors where you can remove the risk – Not backing, no fatigue and not texting Name three behaviors where you can reduce the risk – Following distance, rock & roll for turns, and positioning What are our Vision, Mission and Values? Do it right, the first time, every time. Remove or reduce risk and engage in no unsafe behaviors. “Only when the drivers clearly understand these concepts and the desired behaviors can we start to create the safe NORMS,” Linda said. Ian, the dispatcher then jumped in. “We also need to make our message stronger in the desired NORMS,” he said. “Only yesterday I was in a discussion with a few drivers preparing for this meeting. I asked why we still have rear-end collisions when we teach a four-second following distance. It was obvious from their comments that they interpreted our desire for four seconds as a

suggestion, more of a do it when you can, and not a required practice.” “We need to reinforce that this minimum four second following distance is a job requirement,” Ian continued. “It is NOT subject to interpretation. They are to stay back a minimum of four seconds, at all times. Our messages to achieve the desired NORMS need to be far clearer and far stronger.” “The third step is focusing on the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?),” Linda said. “We should challenge the drivers to agree that any professional driver who causes or contributes to an accident is a failure as a professional. We then need to challenge the drivers to apply the practices we are going to teach them and then they will never be a failure in their profession. If we explain that, as professionals, they should follow the 12 safe behaviors as detailed in the Vision, Mission and Values, they will remove all unsafe behaviors and never have an accident.” “Step four is repetition, repetition and repetition,” Ian said. “We need to continually reinforce these desired behaviors. Every week, discuss two or three of these desired behaviors and why they are the right thing to do. If anyone has an accident, we will discuss as a group the behavior that led to this accident and ask that driver to tell the group why we failed to change their unsafe behavior. We can all learn from mistakes.” This series by Jeff Cassell will continue in the September 2015 Issue! Jeff Cassell is president of Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO) Hudson, Ohio. TAPTCO provides training courses that change driver behaviors. Visit www.taptco.com

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The Moston Public Transit Agency has been implementing a new plan to greatly improve safety NORMS. George, the executive director, wants an update on the progress. “It’s going great,” said Ryan, the supervisor responsible for leading the implementation. “We have everyone using a new language and focusing on changing behaviors. Only yesterday in the driver’s room, the discussion focused on removing the 300 unsafe behaviors and almost everyone joined in the discussion. They talked about our vision, mission and values and what they were doing to achieve this.” “300 unsafe behaviors, what do you mean?” asked George. “Part of the training explained to the drivers is the safety theory of 300:29:1,” said Linda, a dispatcher. “Many years ago, Herbert William Heinrich explained that in workplace injuries, 300 unsafe behaviors will result in injuries 300 times, 29 minor injuries and one serious injury. He went onto say that you cannot prevent the 29 minor injuries or the 1 serious injury. You cannot directly reduce injuries, they will happen. However, you can reduce the unsafe behaviors that lead to injuries. That is where the focus should be.” “The same logic applies to safety on the road,” Ryan added. “For every catastrophe or serious accident, we will have had 29 minor accidents and for every minor accident we will have performed 300 unsafe behaviors. We cannot reduce accidents, but we can reduce unsafe behaviors. We have challenged the drivers to reduce or eliminate their 300 unsafe behaviors as a norm. No unsafe behaviors = no accidents. This explanation helps turn the gray subject of safety into a very clear, black and white issue.” “Obviously, these statistics of 300:29:1 are just a ratio to make the point,” Linda said. “In reality, it could be 475:36:1, or any other ratio. The point is the only way to reduce accidents is to reduce your unsafe behaviors.” “A way to reinforce this is the new poster we have hung at the exit to the yard,” Ryan said. “They see this every day and it will serve as a reminder for them to think of the 12 safe behaviors on our Vision, Mission and Values poster.” “Ok,” said George. “But what are the results that have been achieved?” “The new plan has only been in place for two months,” Ryan answered. “The good news is we have had no accidents at all in that 8

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time. But, it’s too short a period to claim success. What we do know is that everyone is on board with creating the safety norms. The route supervisor has noticed that everyone is now staying back at least 4 seconds. We have changed this and many other behaviors.” “As part of the process to improve our safety norms, I went through a comprehensive Trainer Certification Process,” said Greg, the driving trainer. “Following this, we introduced two new safety practices into our training. These are commentary driving and the 30-day LLLC focus. Commentary driving means that the trainee has to talk and explain everything they are doing while they are driving. They voice any concerns, particularly about the application of LLLC Defensive Driving practices. I try to have two other trainees aboard watching and listening and they are to be attentive and critique the driving. After a time, the trainees switch places and change roles. To improve our safety norms, we took our existing drivers through this process as part of their ongoing training. It has led to a huge improvement.” “That really is effective training,” said George. “What do you mean by the 30-day LLLC Focus?” “To make a practice an automatic habit, a norm, you need to force yourself to follow this practice for 30 days,” Greg replied. “If you do that, you will likely take this practice on as a norm. So we ask the drivers as they are about to start driving each day to say to themselves, ‘I will look ahead, I will look around, I will leave room and I will communicate.’ They are then to rethink these LLLC practices at least every 30 minutes and put them into practice.” “The drivers have willingly accepted these new practices,” Ryan said. It makes sense to them and everyone wants to be a more accomplished professional. We are well on the way to creating the safety culture we sought when we started this process. A safety culture where everyone does it right, the first time, every time by removing or reducing risk and performing no unsafe behaviors.” “That sounds like our vision, mission and values” George said. “Great work, carry on.” This series by Jeff Cassell will continue in the November 2015 Issue! Jeff Cassell is president of Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO) Hudson, Ohio. TAPTCO provides training courses that change driver behaviors. Visit www.taptco.com

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By Jeff Cassell

Recognition is a powerful incentive This is the sixth article in this series. For the first five articles, find the Driver Safety eBook at www.busride.com/ebooks.

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he Moston Public Transit Agency has been implementing a new plan to greatly improve their safety NORMS. They are now meeting to discuss the progress. “OK, we are now four months into the plan to change the drivers behaviors, what are the results?” asked George, the executive director. “Really well,” said Ryan, the supervisor charged with leading the implementation. “Everyone is on board and we have had no accidents at all in the past four months. When we go out on route audits, we see everyone staying back four seconds. We see no rushing and we see no one being first away from lights as they change. We really have changed the driver’s behaviors. The new recognition program has also helped.” “We observe the drivers to see if they are buying into applying the practices of LLLC Defensive Driving and the other eight safe practices listed on our Vision, Mission and Values poster,” Linda, one of the dispatchers added. “We are taking the time to recognize and compliment the team. We have created award patches and pins, which are awarded when we see the good practices.” “Recognition, do they really care?” George asked “Don’t they want a reward, rather than recognition?” “Napoleon Bonaparte once said, ‘There is not enough money on this earth I can pay a man to die for me. But, if I shake his hand, look him in the eye and offer him a ribbon, he runs at bullets,’” Ryan replied. “Recognition done right is far more powerful than reward. Everyone likes to be appreciated for a good job. Peer recognition works.” “So please give me a summary of the steps we have taken and what we will do next,” George said. “We have taken eight steps so far,” said Greg the driver trainer. • The agency agreed that the goal was to set safe NORMS. To do all it can to get drivers to do it right, the first time, every time, in everything they do. • The agency then trained all the drivers in two foundational safety

programs – Safety Best Practices and LLLC Defensive Driving. These indoctrinated the drivers in knowing what safety is, that risk is the enemy, where risk comes from and clearly how to remove or reduce risk. Safety is no longer a grey subject but very clear in exactly what they need to do each and every day. • The agency adopted the Vision, Mission and Values (VMV) of do it right, the first time, every time by removing or reducing risk through no unsafe behaviors. Staff then asked the drivers to focus on the 12 behaviors on the VMV poster to achieve this VMV. • The drivers were then challenged to turn the four practices of LLLC Defensive Driving into their own NORM by continually reminding themselves every day to practice LLLC. They are to say and think about it as they board the bus and at least every hour. When they do this for 30 days, it will be their NORM. • Staff explained to the drivers that any professional driver who causes an accident or contributes to an accident is a failure in their profession. No one wants to be a failure and adopting these practices will prevent them from being a failure. Accidents are caused by deliberate and conscious unsafe behaviors and they have total control to change these behaviors. Drivers were individually asked if they know a behavior is unsafe, involves risk that can be removed or reduced, and why would they perform this behavior. Drivers understood the WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) and agreed to change their behaviors. • All agency managers, supervisors, dispatchers and trainers agreed to apply and support the practices to set these safe NORMS. • The agency hung the two pictured posters reinforcing the desired behaviors and regularly discussed the contents of these posters. • The agency then created a recognition program to monitor and encourage the drives to do it right the first time, every time. “This is all great and it is working,” George said. “What are the plans to continually improve and make sure we do not slip backwards?” “We still have a couple of steps to initiate,” Ryan replied. “First, we need to involve the drivers far more in asking them how we can get the VMV followed all the time. If they help plan the battle, they are less likely to battle the plan. Second, all new drivers will be instilled with our new NORMS from the moment they start training. By using the new commentary driver training, added to Safety Best Practices and LLLC Defensive Driving, we will ensure that we maintain the safe NORMS we seek.” Jeff Cassell is president of Transit & Paratransit Company (TAPTCO), Hudson, OH. TAPTCO provides training courses that change driver behaviors. Visit www.taptco.com.

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Driver Safety  

The Transit and Paratransit Company (TAPTCO) presents "Driver Safety," a compendium of BUSRide's bimonthly column.

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