Friday, January 8, 2010

Miramichi High School Had an MFAV WITH Winter Tires Before Harebrained "Policy" Implemented by Education Made Them Change to All Seasons

We want to know how many other schools had 21 passenger MFAVs BEFORE the new harebrained policy of the Department of Education forced them to change their winter tires for all seasons. That's what we've been told happened at James M. Hill Memorial High School in Miramichi.

Before the tragedy that took our sons' lives nearly two years ago, James M. Hill Memorial High School had a 21 passenger MFAV that was fully outfitted with winter tires all around, a tire configuration that Transport Canada's leading tire expert, Nigel Mortimer, says is the proper way to outfit these type of vehicles. (See a photo of the vehicle below).

James M. Hill Memorial High School MFAV

We've been told by someone who drove the actual vehicle pictured in the photo above that they had no problems with its maneouverability and the drivers were confident with winter tires all around.

Then, when the Province of New Brunswick took over ownership of the 21 passenger MFAVs last year in the wake of our sons' deaths, all the 21 passenger MFAVs were forced to change their front winter tires to all seasons because of the new Department of Education's "Tire Policy" which wrongly applies the logic behind mixed tires for "yellow school buses" to 21 passenger MFAVs. (See winter tires on front wheel of James M. Hill 21 passenger MFAV below and winter tires on the back in bottom photo).

James M. Hill Memorial High School MFAV

There is no scientific evidence to support the opinion of the Department of Transportation's engineering consultant, David Hoar of Motion Design Assoc., that mixed tires on this type of vehicle are preferred.

(Click here to read Mr. Hoar's November 22, 2009 report to the NB DOT in which he spouts his opinion on the superiority of all season tires and wrongly calls the 21 passenger MFAV a "bus".)

Sadly, Mr. Hoar doesn't even know that according to the Department of Education's own Education Act, the Pupil Transportation Regulations and Policies 512 and 513, that the 21 passenger MFAV isn't even a BUS! Only a yellow school bus can be called a bus.

(Click here to read Policies 512 and 513 of the Department of Education)

The 21 passenger MFAV is an "Extra Curricular Activity Vehicle" and has to be treated differently from a yellow school bus. In fact, in Policy 512, it goes so far to say in Section 6.7:

"So as not to be confused with school buses, student extra-curricular activity vehicles cannot be painted predominantly yellow. Yellow may be used for logos and trim but shall not exceed 10% of the painted surface."

So, in applying the wrong tire policies to the 21 passenger MFAV the Department of Education and Transportation actually made the 21 passenger MFAV more unsafe! Only in New's amateur hour all over again...

James M. Hill Memorial High School MFAV