Tour buses are a key part of B.C.'s tourism industry

Crashes spark tour bus safety review

U.S is requiring seatbelts in new motor coaches starting next year, and the Canadian tour bus industry supports them

A recent tour bus crash on the Coquihalla Highway that injured 30 passengers and threw the driver out through the windshield has prompted a review of motor coach safety in B.C.

One likely change is the requirement for seatbelts in motor coaches, which has been adopted south of the border. A 2013 survey of motor coach operators by the B.C. Trucking Association found that most B.C. companies support mandatory seatbelts, and many have already introduced them.

New U.S. government regulations take effect in 2016, requiring new motor coaches to have three-point lap and shoulder seat belts on passenger seats. The U.S. regulation does not extend to transit and school buses, and does not require retrofitting of existing buses.

Announcing the safety review Thursday, Transportation Minister Todd Stone referred to the June 27 collision on the Coquihalla Highway, and another on the same highway a year earlier.

Stone stressed that these incidents are rare, and commercial vehicle crashes in B.C. have declined by 24 per cent in the past decade, thanks to strict licensing and vehicle inspections.

Stone said the review will look at other measures such as mandatory rest periods for drivers.

Doug Switzer, CEO of national industry group Motor Coach Canada, said most safety regulations are set by the federal government, and consistent from province to province. He said the Canadian industry supports introducing seatbelts.

“Whether or not people will wear them is another issue, but we would certainly support making seatbelts mandatory on all new coaches,” Switzer told CBC radio. “That’s probably the biggest thing we can do to reduce the impact of collisions when they do occur.”

One issue for the industry is enforcement, and whether the driver can be ticketed if bus passengers don’t wear their seatbelts.

Transport Canada’s position has been that school buses are safe with closely spaced, high-back seats that reduce passenger impact in collisions.

 

Just Posted

Preliminary inquiry for Island resident facing numerous charges in Comox Valley shooting

A 27-year-old Saanich resident had his preliminary hearing in Courtenay Wednesday as… Continue reading

PHOTOS: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

VIDEO: Leaf Compassion celebrates legalization in Courtenay

Leaf Compassion in Courtenay celebrated the official legalization of marijuana in Courtenay… Continue reading

Man injured in Vancouver Island racetrack accident meets, holds son for first time

Kayden was born the day after Jonathan was crushed by car at speedway

SD 71 school trustee candidates answer questions on sexual identity issue

The four unacclaimed SD 71 candidates were asked their stance the SOGI issue

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

‘A little odd’ B.C.’s biggest city celebrates cannabis without a legal store

On the streets of downtown Vancouver, notably the Wild West of illegal marijuana, not a single legal store opened Wednesday, making for a rather anticlimatic kick-off

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Most Read