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from the CBC show “The Fifth Estate” suggested federal regulations about school bus safety restraints were based on out-of-date and incomplete information.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

RCMP looking for information as thrift store fire investigation continues

Too Good To Be Threw suffered extensive damage after a late night fire on Sunday

Commen-Terry: Helping Hands to benefit flood victims

Fundraising concert Feb. 7 in Courtenay for those affected by Mariner Apartment flood

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

K’ómoks First Nation re-elects Chief Rempel

Chief Rempel re-elected for her second term; three new Councillors elected

Comox council allocates $20,000 for dog park consultation

With interim measures in place, Comox council has decided to proceed with… Continue reading

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

YANA Online Auction runs until Feb. 8

Items include four pairs of tickets to sold-out Big Love Dinner

North Island College Activity Assistant program returns

Learn more at a free information session Feb. 9 - pre-registration required

No charges in fatal police Taser incident in Chilliwack

RCMP watchdog concludes no evidence of excessive or disproportionate force was used by officers

Police watchdog probe ‘intoxicated’ man injured in Port Hardy RCMP custody

Police responded to a house on Jan. 15 and arrested a man

Suspended B.C. legislature officers accused of ‘flagrant overspending’

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Pioneering Telegraph Cove whale watching company cast adrift after 38 years

Stubbs Island Whale Watching announced it is ceasing operation

Most Read