Mercedes-Benz Travego
Sep 03, 2008
Driver training for bus and coach drivers
15 years of safety training
Aim: to learn how to detect risks, avoid dangers and react correctly
Certified training courses enable participants to "experience" safety first‑hand
School-bus training for drivers and pupils
Book training online at the click of a mouse
When it comes to safe bus and coach travel, the onus is very much on the driver. This is why, for the past 15 years, the Mercedes-Benz Bus and Coach unit, through its Omniplus service brand, has organised training courses for bus and coach drivers across Europe. Since the scheme was launched in March 1993, the number of bus and coach drivers who have benefitted from the training provided by Mercedes‑Benz and Setra has reached five figures. And this total is set to increase further now that Europe has introduced regulations governing professional drivers' qualifications – a development that has lead Omniplus to further extend the range of training courses it offers.
Aim: to learn how to detect risks, avoid dangers and react correctly
Safety is a crucial factor on the road, especially in the public-transport domain. This is why one of the main stated aims of the safety training courses organised by Omniplus is to teach drivers how to avoid dangerous situations – so that, as far as possible, the numerous safety systems on board Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches do not even need to be called into action. Should a dangerous situation nevertheless arise whilst driving, the driver needs to be able to react correctly and deal with the situation in a professional manner.
The safety training programme, conducted under the supervision of experienced bus and coach driving trainers, therefore tackles the issue from three angles: detecting risks, avoiding dangers and reacting correctly should a dangerous situation nonetheless occur. By way of example, the practical part of the course involves becoming more aware of the vehicle dimensions in various handling exercises, braking and evasive manoeuvres on various road surfaces at different speeds and performing braking and steering manoeuvres when cornering, also at different speeds.
To ensure greater safety when driving touring coaches, drivers also receive detailed information about how vehicle safety systems – such as the brakes, anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Autonomous Intelligent Cruise Control (AICC), acceleration skid control (ASR), Brake Assist (BA) and the Lane Assistant – work and how they can be put to the best use.
Certified training courses enable participants to "experience" safety first-hand
Participation in safety training is also one of the key requirements specified in the regulations governing professional drivers' qualifications, which have now attained statutory status in Europe. When renewing their driving licences, bus and coach drivers involved in commercial passenger transport will in future have to provide evidence that they have completed a total of 35 hours of advanced training within a five-year period. To this end, Omniplus offers certified training courses, including safety training.
Omniplus safety training is based on a progressive approach. The programme ranges from a one-day intensive course held at the bus company's premises (Basic Safety Training) or at one of a number of driving safety centres including the Hocken­heimring (Basic Plus Safety Training) to a comprehensive driving training course staged over two-and-a-half days at a driving safety centre (Premium Safety Training). Premium Safety Training also incorporates modules focussing on how to respond in the case of a breakdown, accident or fire and on driver fitness, including back and shoulder exercises as well as advice on what to eat. Drivers attending the training courses are provided with Mercedes-Benz training vehicles, although they are free to use their own vehicles if they so wish.
School-bus training for drivers and pupils
Further courses on offer include school-bus training for drivers and for school classes. Depending on the type and scope of the course, the training takes place in stationary safety centres, at the bus company's premises or even at the school itself. All of the courses comprise a theory module and an essential practical module that enables the participants to experience safety first-hand.
In addition, the Omniplus driver training experts offer numerous other courses and advanced-training events for bus and coach drivers. Eco-Training is a one-day course in which participants learn, in both theory and practice, how a different way of driving can help to re­duce fuel consumption by more than ten percent. Special bus and coach technology training courses help bus and coach drivers to better understand the complex combination of technical features in their own vehicles and teach them how to make the most of these features on a daily basis. Further­more, special communication training courses are offered to show drivers how best to deal with passengers.
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