EXPERTS CALL ON TSB TO INVESTIGATE LAST WEEK’S FATAL BUS CRASH IN OTTAWA
Experts are calling on the federal Transportation Safety Board to investigate a deadly bus crash in Ottawa to prevent similar incidents from occurring again.
Ahmed Shalaby, a civil engineering professor at the University of Manitoba, said the Transportation Safety Board should be involved in investigating the deadly crash to ensure the probe is transparent and recommendations are made to improve safety across the country.
“The bus was carrying 90 passengers,” he said. “Is that not important enough to warrant a federal safety investigation? If it isn’t, then what is?”
On Friday afternoon, a double-decker bus operated by local transportation agency OC Transpo hopped a curb and struck a transit shelter, carving deep into the vehicle’s upper level and crushing a number of seats. Three people were killed and 23 were injured.
The safety board confirmed that they are not investigating the bus crash as the federal independent agency only probes marine, pipeline, rail and air incidents.
“If this bus were a train, the [board] would immediately investigate. That’s not enough to make a difference to me,” Dr. Shalaby said.
The board investigated a crash in 2013 in which six people were killed in an OC Transpo double-decker bus, but only because a Via Rail train was involved. But Dr. Shalaby said the kind of vehicle involved in a mass-fatality crash shouldn’t make a difference in what spurs a government-led investigation.
Graham Larkin, executive director of Vision Zero, which works toward reducing traffic-related deaths and injuries, said he believes the board should be involved in the investigation since these types of crashes have occurred before.
Both he and Dr. Shalaby said there’s a significant difference in the number of fatalities in road incidents than other modes of transportation the safety board looks into.