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December 18th, 2012:

Danger under the snow…

Take care out there kids, especially if you’re in the NCR. Beaucoup de neige!

These are also the ideal conditions for winter hoop snakes. These critters very much like it around the freezing mark and thrive especially well when the first snow of the season hits. This gives them adequate cover to stealthily sneak up on their prey. Of course, while small animals and occasionally cats are the hoops’ usual victims, they can be deadly to humans as well. So caution should be exercised at all times.

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School bus cancellations…

… are serious decisions that impact thousands of familites. The decision to cancel should not be made lightly and should keep the chidrens’ safety first and foremost. BUT, erring on the side of caution can be taken a bit too far.

Take the last two Mondays, for example, last Monday was most definitely an over reaction. The buses needn’t have been cancelled. Yesterday, maybe.

And then there’s this morning. I’m writing this on the bus. A bus that is slipping and sliding all over Albert Street!

If any day should have been a snow day, it should have been today. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of consistency in the decision-making process at the OSTA.

Transportation Cancellations

The safety of students is always the first consideration when the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) makes the decision to cancel transportation services.

The OSTA and the Consortium de transport scolaire d’Ottawa have developed joint procedures for school transportation cancellations in the case of inclement weather and/or adverse road conditions.

OSTA and Consortium de transport scolaire d’Ottawa staff make the decision to cancel school transportation services based on the the best forecasted weather information available at the time the decisions need to be made, in collaboration with several external sources, and our combined prior experience.

Several times each day, evening and overnight, OSTA staff receive up-to-date information from The Weather Network and Environment Canada regarding weather and road conditions in the City of Ottawa and the surrounding area. When weather or roads appear hazardous, OSTA staff review the weather and road information received. We are in contact with school bus operators, other area school board transportation staff, and municipal roads crews to assist in determining whether school transportation services will proceed or be cancelled for the day.

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