Gene Craft won this yearsâ€™ Safe Driver Award for OATS in the West Region. Each quarter an OATS driver goes without a preventable accident, they receive a bonus check along with the opportunity to have their name put on a list for a drawing at the end of the year. Drivers from each region receive up to four chances per year to have their name entered in the drawing. The more quarters the drivers stay safe, the more chances they have of winning. Winners are drawn at the Fall Drivers Meetings.
Craft has been driving for OATS for a little over twelve years. He provides transportation mainly out of Cass County. â€œI like helping people out and getting them to theirÂ appointments and back home safely.â€ The prize for driving safely is a gift catalog valued at $200, and a few of the prizes include radios, watches, an iPod, a compact photo printer and a golf bag. Craft chose the ten-gallon wet/dry shop vacuum.
â€œOATS is always looking for ways to keep our people safe, so as our world evolves, the way in which we promote safe driving will change as well,â€ OATS Safety Manager, Katie Kelly stated.
Currently, for each region OATS serves, they hold at least three drivers meetings per year concerning safety awareness. â€œThe meetings are mandatory and include defensive driving and passenger assistance training, as well instruction concerning first-aid/blood borne pathogens, wheelchair securement and other topics related to safety,â€ Kelly says. In addition to these meetings, OATS also sends out a monthly newsletter promoting safety awareness.
Kelly believes that accidents happen when people become distracted and fail to focus on the task at hand. â€œSafety is about providing transportation without accident or injury to our passengers or ourselves.â€ She believes it is the foundation for OATS service.