Each day, Canadian children travel to and from school every day on 51,670 school buses. In July 2018, Transport Canada published new requirements to support the voluntary installation of three-point seatbelts on school buses.
Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced that the Government of Canada is launching a pilot project introducing seatbelts in some school buses with the District of Sudbury, Ontario, and at a second location in British Columbia, which will be announced at a later date.
The pilot projects will involve a limited number of new school buses, equipped with three-point seatbelts that follow the latest federal safety standards.
School buses are the safest way to transport an estimated 2.2 million Canadian children to school. Recognizing that seatbelts can provide an additional layer of safety in rare, but severe school bus collisions, these pilots are an important step in examining the optimal and most efficient use of this safety feature in Canada.
The need for pilot projects stems from the report of the Task Force on School Bus Safety, Strengthening School Bus Safety in Canada, which explains the considerations associated with installing and using seatbelts on school buses, such as proper seatbelt adjustments for children.