Research Papers

Aging School Bus Drivers: Is Mandatory Retirement Appropriate?

Filename FINAL-PAPER-05.docx
Filesize 275 KB
Version 1
Date added June 10, 2012
Downloaded 3 times/fois
Category 2012 CMRSC XXII Banff
Tags Dr. Charles H. Miller Award Winner, Session 4A
Author/Auteur Eric Hildebrand
Award/Prix Dr. Charles H. Miller


Dr. Brian Jonah and/et Dr. Eric Hildebrand

Dr. Brian Jonah (L) and/et Dr. Eric Hildebrand (R)

There exists very little evidence to determine whether aging school bus drivers pose an increased safety risk with advancing age since few drivers have continued to work beyond age 65 in those jurisdictions that do not have mandatory retirement policies. Consequently, there have not been opportunities where direct data are available to empirically show how safety risk might change as school bus drivers advance in age beyond traditional retirement limits. This creates a knowledge void that is problematic as a recent trend shows an increasing number of drivers who wish to continue to drive beyond the traditional age of retirement.

The objective of this paper is to interpret past findings and illustrate how safety levels typically change in concert with advancing age among the general population of drivers. While school bus drivers are a subset of the general population, evidence is drawn from a recent study of older commercial truck drivers to show that similar trends exist even among professional drivers. Finally, a discussion is presented that associates the extraordinary tasks involved while driving a school bus with decreased capabilities commonly found among aging drivers. The paper is written in the context of a recent Human Rights hearing in New Brunswick which effectively resulted in the removal of mandatory retirement for school bus drivers at age 65.