Isabelle and Ana
|Ana and Javier Acevedo on his 17th birthday, December 30, 2007.|
|Isabelle and Daniel Hains, Christmas 2007, the night of the Bathurst High School Christmas prom.|
1. Van Angels Law:
We want a Van Angels law in memory of our boys. A Van Angels law is an umbrella term for a series of proposed changes that effect the safe transportation of children to off-site, extra-curricular activities. The "Van Angels Laws" will impact both the Education Act of the Department of Education and the Motor Vehicle Act of the Department of Transportation.
2. Department of Education Take Responsibility
We want the Department of Education to take full responsibility for the safety of children who are representing their schools when they travel to off-site, extra-curricular activities. School does not end at 3:30 pm for children who are particpating in extra-curricular events as members of school sports teams and clubs. Sports is part of school culture and the Department must stand behind the safe transportation of children to and from events in which children take part.
3. Class 2 Drivers
We want mandatory Class 2 Yellow School Bus drivers behind the wheel of the new multi-function vehicles transporting children to off-site, extra-curricular activity. Class 2 Drivers are trained professionals who drive children to school every day for a living. They have skills, experience and on-going training that is infinitely superior to Class 4 drivers and they are prepared for any emergency. We believe that if a Class 2 driver had been responsible for transporting our children to the basketball game in Moncton on January 11, 2008, our children would still be alive today, because they never would have got in that vehicle in the first place.
4. No Travel in Bad Weather
When Environment Canada has predicted bad weather or there is a storm advisory, we want a game to be cancelled and rescheduled for another day. If the weather changes at the destination point, we want the team to stay overnight in a hotel, using funds provided through fundraising activities of parents and students for extra-curricular activities. We want a bad weather law, not a regulation or a policy, which makes it illegal for students to be transported to and from off-site, extra-curricular activities during bad weather.
5. Student Travel Office
We want the Department of Education to establish a Student Travel Office which will act as a central clearing house for all student travel during the school year. The office will utilize all resources available to make decisions about student travel, and consult with the RCMP, municipal police agencies. Environment Canada, Department of Education, Department of Transportation (which has 32 web cams strategically located around the province), Department of Public Safety, the schools, transport managers, principals, superintendents, coaches, drivers, activity organizers and whoever else is involved in transporting children to off-site extra-curricular events. This office will be arms-length, must be beyond influence and pressures of any kind and it will have the final word on travel. No multi-function vehicle will be allowed to depart for an out-of-town sports meet without the permission of this office.
6. Awareness of the Dangers of Winter Driving in New Brunswick
We live in a snow belt and we know that bad weather is part of our culture. We want a targetted multi-media public awareness campaign that utilizes the Internet, YouTube, Television, Radio, mainstream and alternative media to increase understanding of the importance of safety and the dangers of winter driving in NB.
7. Awareness of Fatigue Driving
We want a public awareness campaign that explains the dangers of driving while fatigued, showing drivers the options available to them when they feel the onset of fatigue and the responsibilities they have to drive safe, not only for them, but for their passengers and other drivers with whom they share the road.
8. Inspection and Maintenance
We want to be assured that the new multi-function vehicles that are being used to transport children to off-site, extra-curricular activities receive the same high standards of inspection and maintenance as do yellow school buses.
9. Motor Vehicle Inspection
We want to be assured that the new multi-function vehicles being used to transport children to off-site, extra-curricular activities will be inspected every six months, as required in the Motor Vehicle Act and the Education Act.
10. Winter Tires
We want to be assured that the new multi-function vehicles being used to transport children to off-site, extra-curricular activities will have winter tires during the winter season, from November 1 to April 30.
11. Tire Treads
We want the standards for inspection and maintenance of tires on all vehicles to be higher so that when mechanics see that a vehicle's tires are within minimal range of passing a Motor Vehicle Inspection that they must advise their client to purchase new tires immediately, rather than allowing clients to leave the garage with borderline tires and an MVI that allows the client to drive on those tires for one more year.
12. 15 Passenger Vans
We want to be assured that the Department of Education will never re-introduce 15 passenger vans into the fleet of vehicles used for the transportation of children to off-site extra-curricular activities.
13. Parent Information
We want the Department of Education to develop a process for informing parents of the full extent of its responsibilities for the safe transportation of children to off-site, extra-curricular activities.
More to follow....