OTTAWA — The Canadian government will review the safety standards applicable to 15-passenger vans to increase the awareness of passenger safety among school board authorities.
“Extracurricular school activities are part of the fabric of Canadian society, and the government of Canada is taking an important step today to improve the safety of field and sports trips across the country,” Transport Minister John Baird said. “By launching this review, we can determine the best safety options for students during their trips and help to prevent tragedies on our roads.”
As part of the review, the Canadian government will consult with provincial and territorial governments, seeking input on improving passenger van safety. (The provinces and territories regulate the use of vehicles within their jurisdictions for school and sports activities.)
The issue will also be discussed at the Council of Ministers meeting in September 2010, which will bring together the provincial, territorial and federal governments.
In addition to the consultation, the review will include an assessment of the stability of 15-passenger vans as well as multi-function activity buses; brake testing; and testing to determine the vehicle rollover threshold.
Transport Canada will undertake an awareness campaign to bolster knowledge of safe 15-passenger van use once the review is complete.
Moreover, the organization noted that it will continue to work with manufacturers and New Brunswick member of Parliament Yvon Godin, who has proposed legislation on the issue, to improve the safety of all vehicles in Canada.