New coach buses to require seatbelts

A bus leaves the STC Transportation Centre in Prince Albert for the final time on May 31, 2017, the organization’s last day of operations. -- Herald file photo.

Transport Canada will soon make seatbelts mandatory on newly-built medium and large highway buses.

The new regulations will apply to all buses built on Sept. 1, 2020, or later.

“…Seatbelts have a strong and proven record of saving lives,” the ministry said in a press release.

“Overall, buses are a safe means of transportation; however, seat belts can improve safety even further by helping prevent passengers from being ejected during a collision or rollover.”

The parents of Humboldt Broncos crash victim Adam Herold are suing the bus manufacturer as well as the semi driver. One issue they have with the bus is that it didn’t have seatbelts.

Transport Canada said in an emailed statement that it has been studying the requirements since 2017.

“We’ve all heard the message to buckle up over the years,” Minister Marc Garneau said in a press release.

“I think it’s time we brought this approach to highway buses too.”