TORONTO — In a two-week “safety blitz” last month, 94 percent of Ontario’s school buses met or exceeded provincial safety standards.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation randomly inspected 1,903 buses from March 17-28 for mechanical fitness, evidence of daily vehicle inspections and driver qualifications.
The ministry ordered minor repairs on 92 buses and took 12 off the road for significant repairs.
“The safety of the province's children who ride to school every day in a bus is of paramount importance,” Transportation Minister Jim Bradley said. “We have tough standards for school bus safety, and we will continue to enforce them.”
Bradley said that his ministry would meet with pupil transportation officials to discuss how to further increase the safety of children.
John Sharp, president of the Ontario School Bus Association, said that while his group was pleased with the inspection results, “We will not be satisfied until all school buses pass inspection. On student safety, our goal is perfection.”
Ontario requires that all of its 18,000 school buses undergo inspection at least twice a year. Companies caught operating an unsafe bus face fines of up to $20,000.