Numerous deaths of children could have been prevented if buses were equipped with seatbelts. The study comes from an investigation done by the CBC’s Fifth Estate.
For more than 35 years, Transport Canada has been against the use of seatbelts. They have said that they only cause more harm to children.
Now the four-month CBC investigation has unveiled serious problems with the study. Serious such as the government knowing for years that seatbelts prevent injuries in the case of a bus crash.
Les Cross is the regional manager for Elgie Bus Lines. He is surprised it took a hard hitting investigation from W5 to get Transport Canada moving.
“It’s unfortunate that it took such a graphic message that we saw on W5 to get them to finally act.”
The information is now publicized and ultimately forces Transport Canada and the government to do something. Elgie Bus Line is grateful to hear that Transport Canada may finally move forward with bus safety.
“We’re happy and pleased that it looks like there is going be some action. Certainly improved safety is always our number one goal in this industry,” said Cross.
With the rapid advancement of technology, seatbelts will be just the beginning. Air bags placed in each seat is a future possibility. For Cross, any addition that will improve bus safety is a plus.
“Technology is moving at record paces. I would like to see anything that could enhance the safety in the event of a crash. We’d love to see that being developed.”
It is up to each province to enforce the law of having seatbelts put in school buses. Equipping one bus with seatbelts could cost over $10 000.
The government will move forward with a review but did not offer a timeline. A new law could be enforced quickly though as this is a safety issue which would not require legislation.