National RTAP News

Session Spotlight - National RTAP/FTA/NTTA 1st Technical Assistance

The two-part Drive Right: Train-the-Trainer Driver Simulation session taughtby Steve Mentzer, Manager of Transit Simulations and Louis Maiello, Transit Training Specialist, of FAAC Incorporated was an engaging driver training course designed to teach several critical skill sets crucial to maintaining safe operations on the road. 

Steve and Louie borrowed and transported a high-end van simulator from the Maryland Transit Administration, exclusively for the conference.  It featured physical rearview mirrors, an authentic Ford Econoline driving station with active controls, and a visual theater that is the largest in the industry.

The simulator featured five forward and side (peripheral) visual displays, two physical mirrors matched with two LCD screens for viewing of dynamic conditions positioned rearward of the student operator, and a multi-view projected display that can convey the “out the window” view, a camera feed of the student operating the simulator, and an overhead orientation of the simulator as it is being operated.

During this captivating session, participants, trainers and drivers alike, learned about basic skill development for new hire candidates; annual refreshers designed to empower operators to improve overall safety performance; return to work reviews that focused on critical aspects of the job prior to a return to the seat after an extended absence; and corrective actions, where specific scenarios were demonstrated to showcase remedies for preventable accidents that were practiced in the safety of the simulator.

In between conference sessions, drivers from Sunday’s pre-conference Roadeo kept Steve and Louie busy.  They asked for help on how to improve their Roadeo scores using real-life scenarios that happened during the competition.   Drivers were shown corrective actions using the simulator, which boosted their confidence for higher scores in future roadeos. 

For more information on this session, please contact Pam DiGiovanni, National RTAP Assistant Director, at 888-589-6821.

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