In wake of Hum­boldt Bron­cos tragedy, Canada mak­ing seat­belts manda­tory on fu­ture high­way buses

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Regional -

All newly built high­way buses in Canada will soon be re­quired to have seat belts.

That’s ac­cord­ing to Trans­port Canada, which an­nounced in a re­lease to­day, July 11, medi­u­mand large-sized buses built on Sept. 1, 2020 and later must have the safety de­vices in­stalled.

Trans­port Canada first pro­posed seat belt re­quire­ments in 2017, the re­lease states.

“We’ve all heard the mes­sage to buckle up over the years, and I think it’s time we brought this ap­proach to high­way buses too,” Trans­port Min­is­ter Marc Garneau said.

“By hav­ing seat belts on high­way buses, we can help re­duce in­juries in se­vere col­li­sions, such as rollovers, and im­prove safety for every­one.”

Manda­tory bus seat belts have been in a brighter spot­light since the April 6 crash of the coach bus car­ry­ing the Hum­boldt Bron­cos ju­nior hockey team in Saskatchewan in which 16 peo­ple were killed and sev­eral oth­ers in­jured.

There are no laws at present re­quir­ing pas­sen­gers to wear seat belts on buses.

Medium- and large-sized buses are de­fined as hav­ing a weight over 4,536 kilo­grams. Small buses, those un­der 4,536 kilo­grams, al­ready have lap and shoul­der belts – with the ex­cep­tion of school buses.

Seat belts on school buses will not be manda­tory un­der the new re­quire­ments, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, as they are al­ready de­signed to pro­tect chil­dren dur­ing crashes. School bus op­er­a­tors can in­stall seat belts vol­un­tar­ily, how­ever, if they meet Trans­port Canada’s guide­lines.

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