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from the CBC show “The Fifth Estate” suggested federal regulations about school bus safety restraints were based on out-of-date and incomplete information.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.

Just Posted

Ridge player earns Pat Quinn scholarship

Adam Leitch plays for the Burnaby Winter Club academy prep team.

Maple Ridge goalie named junior B most inspirational player

Matthew Trulsen played through season despite the death of his older brother.

Maple Ridge’s indoor pool redo in final months

Structural work done, with target opening to be late summer

UPDATED: Prime minister talks housing in Maple Ridge

Trudeau speaks to rising cost of housing, pressures on young people.

Pedestrian killed, two injured in three vehicle crash in Coquitlam

Road closures in effect following collision

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read