OTTAWA | The federal government will make seat belts mandatory on buses that travel by highway.
All medium and large coaches operating in Canada will be required to wear seat belts by September 2020, the Department of Transportation said Wednesday.
The measure aims to reduce the risk of ejection in the event of a collision or barrels. Originally proposed in March 2017, it has been developed in recent months in consultation with vehicle manufacturers associations.
“We have all heard the message of buckling our belt over the years, and I believe it is time to take this approach to coaches,” said Minister Marc Garneau in a statement.
School buses are excluded from the new requirement because they already have increased safety features to protect children.
The safety belts issue was rekindled in the wake of the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team bus crash, which left 16 people dead and 13 injured in Saskatchewan last April.
The parents of one of the victims filed a lawsuit this week, demanding among other things that the courts force buses carrying sports teams in this province to be equipped with belts, reported several media.
Transport Canada anticipates that the new highway transportation requirement will save an average of one to two lives per year across the country.
The regulation will apply to buses weighing more than 4536 kg and will harmonize Canadian standards with those in the United States.
“It is anticipated that the change will result in minimal costs and no increase in regulatory burden, as manufacturers already offer the option to purchase buses with seatbelts across the full range of types. buses and a number of affected buses are already equipped with seatbelts on a voluntary basis, “says the ministry in the Canada Gazette.