(Black Press File)

Alberta looking into mandatory school bus seatbelts: Transport Minister Mason

Review comes one day after a school bus crashed south of Calgary

Alberta’s transport minister says the province is looking into making seatbelts mandatory on school buses.

Brian Mason made the remark a day after a school bus rolled on its side south of Calgary and seriously injured a student.

Foothills School Division #38 says in a Facebook statement that the student and the bus driver are in hospital in stable condition.

RCMP say another student was treated for minor injuries and that police are still investigating.

READ MORE: Student rushed to hospital after school bus crash south of Calgary

Ottawa announced a task force earlier this month to look into retrofitting school buses with seatbelts.

Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau ordered a fresh look at the safety data in October following a CBC investigation that suggested current regulations were based on outdated or incomplete information.

“The existing wisdom with respect to that and the study that Transport Canada has based its current policy on needs to be reviewed,” Mason said Tuesday.

“I’ve asked the department to move more quickly in re-examining that in light of this incident and others.”

Canada doesn’t require seatbelts on school buses, but did introduce new guidelines last June to regulate their use by bus operators who choose to install them.

RELATED: Mother of child who died in school bus accident calls for seatbelts

Those new technical requirements say restraints must not compromise existing safety features of the compartmentalized seats specifically designed to protect school children in the event of a crash.

A 2010 Transport Canada report concluded current compartmentalization safety features on buses are not enough to stop injuries, particularly in side impacts and rollovers.

Acting Supt. Pamela Ranelli says the Foothills School Division’s thoughts are with those affected by Monday’s crash.

“We have spent the day working to support our school community during this difficult time. We recognize that many of our students, families, and staff have been concerned by this news and we are committed to providing supports for as long as they may be needed,” she said in the Facebook post.

“We join with the community in extending an outpouring of caring, compassion, and support for the families involved.”

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

One-day-a-year open house for Okanagan raptor rehab centre on May 5

The 31st annual open house for SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre is May 5

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: A sunny Easter Sunday

Temperatures will peak at approximately 20C region-wide

Children gather for Easter festival in Summerland

Fourth annual Easter Egg-stravaganza included activities and egg hunt

Summerland student examines effects of sound

Science fair project will go to national competition in New Brunswick

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

Pets still missing after Peachland home fire

Two Pomeranians and two cats are missing after fire

Regional district backs more consultation on plans to help caribou

It is feared that the caribou recovery plans could result in closure of backcountry areas

Okanagan student shows skill at provincial finals

Aidan Eglin of Armstrong won website development event at Skills Canada’s B.C. finals in Abbotsford

Kootnekoff: Easter Bunny legal woes

Several years ago, our young daughter needed to know: “Is Santa Claus… Continue reading

Okanagan fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware cats were in wood pile in yard near garbage pile fire that got away

Okanagan township’s open burning winds down

Spallumcheen reminds residents of regulation changes as open burning concludes April 30

Most Read