Transport Minister Marc Garneau. (The Canadian Press)

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Transport Minister Marc Garneau is ordering his department to take a fresh look at the data on school bus safety and seatbelts.

Garneau says if seatbelts are properly used and installed on buses they can provide an additional layer of safety for riders, but notes that current seat designs already provide good safety in the event of an accident.

The government was put on the defensive Monday after an investigation from the CBC show “The Fifth Estate” suggested federal regulations about school bus safety restraints were based on out-of-date and incomplete information.

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses, but did introduce new guidelines in late June to regulate their use by bus operators who choose to install them.

Those new technical requirements say restraints must not compromise existing safety features of the compartmentalized seats specifically designed to protect school children in the event of a crash.

READ MORE: Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivor still has a long recovery ahead

A 2010 Transport Canada study says seatbelts could help prevent injuries in rollovers, crashes where a pickup truck or larger vehicle slammed into the side of a bus, or crashes causing “significant vertical lift of the occupant compartment.”

The study recommended more research on the use of seatbelts on buses to ensure their use didn’t increase the risk of injury for children.

Since 1984, there have been 23 deaths of school children involved in bus crashes, including one between 2008 and 2016, the most recent year available.

Transport Canada says side-impact collisions that cause injuries are rare.

However, Garneau said he was willing to take another look at the data on bus safety.

“I have instructed my department to take an in-depth look at the question of seatbelts in buses, a fresh look based on all of the evidence that has been collected since all the way back to 1984, and I look forward to their findings,” Garneau said in the House of Commons.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse cancels box season

COVID-19 wipes out indoor lacrosse; group hopeful outdoor field season will start in August

Vancouver Foundation grants benefit Okanagan-Shuswap residents

Grants of up to $500 available for ideas that connect people socially or involve sharing skills

UPDATED: Two sent to hospital by air ambulance following Enderby highway accident

Drivers involved in collision on Highway 97A in Enderby; serious, but not life-threatening injuries

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Public can attend essential CSRD meetings again

Four members of the public are all that can be accomodated in the board room with social distancing.

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Water quality advisory rescinded for Central Okanagan system

Turbidity levels improve enough to rescind advisory issued for Killiney Beach system May 11

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Summerland once had Old English theme

Design guidelines were introduced in late 1980s

Syilx Nation cannabis store holds grand opening in Vernon

Tupa’s Joint offers Indigenous cannabis products along with traditional First Nations medicines

Most Read