On August 13, 2008, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) announced the publication of a new CSA standard on Multi Function Activity Buses (also known as Multi Function Activity Vehicles (MFAVs). Click here to read the announcement.
The publication of the new standard essentially created a NEW CLASS OF VEHICLE which would be safer alternative to 15 passenger vans for which it notes there are currently "no Canadian Federal regulations (for 15 passenger vans) that can carry 11 or more persons and are sold for the purpose of transporting students to or from school or school related events. Following more than a thousand accidents in 10 years, American federal requirements now regulate that such vehicles are required to meet the same federal standards as school buses."
We point out that the proposed new safety standard is VOLUNTARY, which means that it cannot be enforced unless a law is passed forcing the provinces to ensure that children are not transported to school related activities in these vehicles. This is what we are trying to do with Yvon Godin's Private Members Bill. Below is the article as it appeared on the CSA website in August 2008.
Toronto, ON, August 13, 2008 - Canadian Standards Association (CSA), a leading developer of standards and codes, today officially announced the publication of the new CSA D270 Multi-functional activity buses (MFAB) standard. This is the first Canadian standard developed to provide voluntary requirements for the new proposed class of vehicle. MFABs are intended to be used as a safer alternative to vehicles not classified as a school bus but which are still used to transport groups of school-aged passengers to sporting events, community activities or other such educational or childcare facilities and outings.
"CSA has extensive expertise in developing national standards for school buses," says John Walter, Vice President, Standards Development, CSA. "We have applied that same expertise to the new multi-functional activity bus standard. The intent was to develop a standard for a type of vehicle that is not classified as a school bus but that is still used to occasionally transport students to events and activities and therefore should be built to very similar standards for safety and construction."
Construction standards such as joint strength, crashworthiness, rollover protection, emergency exits, compartmentalization, and numerous safety features which are designed to make the school bus one of the safest vehicles are part of the requirements for the MFAB standard. The new standard does not include requirements for traffic and pedestrian controls devices such as warning lamps or stop arms as these buses are not to be used for roadside pick-up and drop-off of passengers.
The CSA D270 Multi-functional activity buses standard was initially proposed in 2006 as members of the CSA Technical Committee (TC) responsible for school buses standards began seeing non-conforming vehicles, or those not classified or tested to school bus standards, being increasingly used for the transportation of students for school related activities in Canada. Currently there are no Canadian Federal regulations pertaining specifically to new non-conforming vehicles that can carry 11 or more persons and are sold for the purpose of transporting students to or from school or school related events. Following more than a thousand accidents in 10 years, American federal requirements now regulate that such vehicles are required to meet the same federal standards as school buses.
It will be at the discretion of provincial governments to determine if they will adopt the new standard in whole or in part and how they would enforce the requirements. It will be up to interested manufacturers to generate sufficient test data to support a self-declaration that their vehicles meet the CSA D270-08 Multi-functional activity buses standard. The vehicles could then be subject to inspection by regulators that recognize the MFAB class of vehicle to ensure they comply with any relevant legislation.
CSA school bus and MFAB standards alone cannot prevent accidents and they are not substitutes for thorough, ongoing, and comprehensive safety training of drivers and monitoring of passengers. Road conditions, weather, vehicle maintenance, traffic laws, speed, driver fatigue and health, and other risk factors must also be taken into account when operating any vehicle.
Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a membership association serving industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in Canada and the global marketplace. As a leading solutions-based standards organization, providing standards and codes development, application products, training and advisory services, CSA aims to enhance public safety, improve quality of life, preserve the environment and facilitate trade. The Canadian Standards Association is a division of CSA Group, which also consists of CSA International, which provides testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers. For more information visit www.csa.ca
Senior Media Relations Officer