Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Minister of Education Roland Hache Agrees to Outside Expert Opinion From Transport Canada on Tires

New Brunswick Minister of Education Rolande HacheMinister Agrees Transport Canada Will Be Final Expert on Issue

During our meeting with the Minister on Monday, he agreed to allow outside expert opinion in an evaluation of the winter tires / all season tires for the 21 passenger Multi Function Activity Vehicle (MFAV) which is currently operated by Bathurst High School.

Bathurst High School's 21 passenger MFAV

This is a big victory for us because everyone we consulted with, including the winter tire expert at Transport Canada, Nigel Mortimer, and John Mahler of Toronto Star's Wheels Magazine, told us that this vehicle needs winter tires all around.

What makes common sense doesn't always come easy to the bureacracy but we feel that with Transport Canada's involvement this issue will be resolved once and for all. On a larger scale, if New Brunswick follows Transport Canada's lead, then all the provinces across Canada will have to do so as well.

Ana Acevedo and Isabelle Hains stand in front of the 21 passenger Multi Function Activity Vehicle, November 2008
Bathurst crash moms want more winter tires on buses

Click here to read article on CBC website

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | 6:45 PM

Three mothers of schoolboys killed in the Bathurst van crash want the province to change its winter-tire policy for school vehicles.

Seven members of the Bathurst High School boys basketball team and their coach's wife were killed in January 2008, when their 15-passenger van slid into the path of a transport truck in freezing winter conditions.

The Department of Education subsequently banned the use of the 15-passenger vans and replaced them with small school buses with 22 seats each.

Ana Acevedo, Isabelle Hains and Marcella Kelly — who lost their sons Javier, Daniel and Nicholas in the crash — say the new vehicles aren't any safer, because the vehicles have winter tires at the back and ribbed all-season tires on the front.

"We've contacted over 15 different experts and they all told us there should be winter tires on that vehicle all the way around," Kelly said.

A coroner's inquest into the accident in May recommended winter tires for all vehicles transporting students.

Kelly, along with Acevedo and Hains, met with Education Minister Roland Haché on Monday to try to persuade him to make the change.

Valerie Kilfoil, a spokeswoman with the department, said the government has asked researchers with Transport Canada to recommend a solution.

"We just have to ensure that Transport Canada is looking specifically at our situation, our vehicles, the type and the type of driving that we do with them," she said. "We will consider them the final experts on this."

Kelly said she has also spoken with Transport Canada officials, who strongly advised winter tires on the front and back of the vehicle.

Click here to read article on CBC website