Tuesday, September 8, 2009

CANWEST Investigation shows hodgepodge of safety standards plagues extracurricular activity vehicles

Part 1 in a three-part series investigating what changes have taken place nationally since the 2008 crash that killed 8 high school basketball players in New Brunswick

Across Canada this academic year, schools will send millions of children to extracurricular activities in vehicles considered unsafe, and with drivers deemed unqualified by a coroner's jury that examined the deaths of seven New Brunswick high school athletes in 2008.

Nearly two years after the tragedy, no province except Quebec and New Brunswick has made significant changes to the way children travel to off-site school events.

A Canwest News Service investigation also shows that the changes called for by the inquest in May are being largely ignored across Canada. None of the major safety recommendations has been adopted by the federal government, or any of the provinces. Every provincial government, plus 37 urban and rural school districts from coast to coast were surveyed. Many school districts reported tightening up their travel policies in the wake of the Bathurst accident. Yet the research still reveals a hodgepodge of practices in place across the country, and large differences in safety standards from one district to another.

Click here to read full story.