Tour buses are a key part of B.C.'s tourism industry

Crashes spark tour bus safety review

U.S is requiring seatbelts in new motor coaches starting next year, and the Canadian tour bus industry supports them

A recent tour bus crash on the Coquihalla Highway that injured 30 passengers and threw the driver out through the windshield has prompted a review of motor coach safety in B.C.

One likely change is the requirement for seatbelts in motor coaches, which has been adopted south of the border. A 2013 survey of motor coach operators by the B.C. Trucking Association found that most B.C. companies support mandatory seatbelts, and many have already introduced them.

New U.S. government regulations take effect in 2016, requiring new motor coaches to have three-point lap and shoulder seat belts on passenger seats. The U.S. regulation does not extend to transit and school buses, and does not require retrofitting of existing buses.

Announcing the safety review Thursday, Transportation Minister Todd Stone referred to the June 27 collision on the Coquihalla Highway, and another on the same highway a year earlier.

Stone stressed that these incidents are rare, and commercial vehicle crashes in B.C. have declined by 24 per cent in the past decade, thanks to strict licensing and vehicle inspections.

Stone said the review will look at other measures such as mandatory rest periods for drivers.

Doug Switzer, CEO of national industry group Motor Coach Canada, said most safety regulations are set by the federal government, and consistent from province to province. He said the Canadian industry supports introducing seatbelts.

“Whether or not people will wear them is another issue, but we would certainly support making seatbelts mandatory on all new coaches,” Switzer told CBC radio. “That’s probably the biggest thing we can do to reduce the impact of collisions when they do occur.”

One issue for the industry is enforcement, and whether the driver can be ticketed if bus passengers don’t wear their seatbelts.

Transport Canada’s position has been that school buses are safe with closely spaced, high-back seats that reduce passenger impact in collisions.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

COLUMN: Meet Todd Coyne, our new editor

Todd Coyne takes charge of five Black Press newspapers in the West Kootenay

Denesiuk announced as Liberal nominee for South Okanagan-West Kootenay

Connie Denesiuk ran for the first time in 2015, losing to current MP Cannings

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

BC Ferries begins taking debit in two-month pilot project

Company is giving customers option to use Interac on two-month trial on select vessels

Caregivers banned from smoking, growing cannabis around children-in-care: MCFD

Ministry has limited cannabis use for caregivers, stating it may “pose a risk to children and youth.”

Cheaper strains sell out within minutes on online BC Cannabis Store

Province says new strains will become available in the coming months

Only 40% of B.C. car dealerships have electric cars available: report

Researchers found buyers frustrated at the lack of options

VIDEO: Millionaire Lottery returns to give back and win big

Since 1996, Millionaire Lottery has raised $52 million for the VGH+UBC Hospital Foundation

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

Most Read