B.C. Liberals table school bus seatbelt bill; NDP says it's waiting on Ottawa

VICTORIA — British Columbia's Opposition Liberals want seatbelts in all new school buses.

Liberal member of the legislature Laurie Throness introduced a private member's bill that would require all new school buses in B.C. purchased after 2021 to be equipped with seatbelts.

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Throness cited Transport Canada information from more 25,000 collisions involving school buses in Canada from 1995 to 2004 that resulted in five deaths and more than 3,400 injuries.

He says the proposed legislation would change B.C.'s Motor Vehicle Act to ensure school buses purchased after September 1, 2021 would be equipped with seatbelts.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena says the province is awaiting the results of a federal government report on school bus safety, including seatbelt policy, before making any changes.

Throness says one of his Chilliwack-area constituents, school bus driver Gary Lillico, started a petition calling for seatbelts in school buses that now has more than 120,000 signatures.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2019.

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