Following the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, a B.C. member of parliament says he is preparing a motion to explore new transportation safety measures.
Ken Hardie, the MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells, said the motion will have the Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities study the safety of coach buses.
“I want this motion basically to bring together medical people, the people who do accident investigations, people who look at coach safety and coach manufacturers to really look at the whole area of safety of bus passengers,” he said.
“We may find something new. There may be something new that we could be thinking about to go forward with better standards.”
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Hardie said part of the study would look at whether seatbelts should be mandatory on coach buses.
The Canada Safety Council (CSC) has been pushing for federal and provincial governments to enforce seatbelts on coach buses for years — but it says not all buses need them.
“School buses are designed specifically to make seatbelts redundant,” Lewis Smith of the CSC told Global News, explaining those seats have higher backs, are placed closer together and can absorb shock better.
“The reason that we suggest seatbelts on coach buses is because coach buses are a lot like regular passenger vehicles. And they tend to use highways a lot more than school buses do, which exposes them to increased speed.”
In addition to seatbelts, he wants the committee to explore how bus seats could be designed to be more safe.
Hardie notes that it’s unclear how much seatbelts may have helped in a crash as severe as the one in Saskatchewan, but he believes now is the time to start a conversation about bus safety.
“Because the public is asking questions at this point, this is a good time to lift the lid and see what we can do.”
“This is the reason why a standing committee like ours exists. It’s to look into situations like this, so let’s just get it done.”
— With files from Maham Abedi