Seatbelts to be mandatory on new highway buses by 2020: Transport Canada

Mandatory seatbelts on buses have been a common topic of discussion since the April 6 Humboldt Broncos bus crash tragedy. THE CANADIAN PRESS / Jonathan Hayward

Transport Canada says they will soon require all newly built highway buses to have seatbelts.

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The federal department says they will make seatbelts mandatory on medium and large highway buses starting Sept. 1, 2020.

They say seatbelts have a strong and proven record of saving lives.

The department says it first proposed the change in 2017.

WATCH: Humboldt Broncos fatal bus crash prompts calls for better highway safety

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Humboldt Broncos fatal bus crash prompts calls for better highway safety

Mandatory seatbelts on buses has been discussed since April 6 when a bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi-truck in rural Saskatchewan.

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Sixteen people were killed and 13 others were injured in the crash.

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READ MORE: Parents of Humboldt Broncos player killed in crash sue truck driver, bus maker

A lawsuit filed by the parents of one of the players this week asked for a court order requiring all buses carrying sports teams in Saskatchewan to be equipped with seatbelts.

Transport Canada says medium-sized buses are defined as having a weight over 4,536 kilograms.

They say small buses, with the exception of school buses, are already required to have lap and shoulder belts. The department says the new rules won’t apply to school buses, because they are already designed to protect children in a crash.

Operators can install them voluntarily if they meet Transport Canada’s requirements.

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