OTTAWA — Canada’s Transport Minister John Baird today announced a review of the safety standards applicable to 15-passenger vans, a move that will increase awareness of passenger safety among school board authorities.
“Extracurricular school activities are part of the fabric of Canadian society, and the Government of Canada is taking an important step today to improve the safety of field and sports trips across the country,” said Baird. “By launching this review, we can determine the best safety options for students during their trips and help to prevent tragedies on our roads.”
This safety review will include:
* consultation with provincial and territorial governments;
* an assessment of the safety and stability of extracurricular activity vehicles, including 15-passenger vans and another category called multi-function activity buses; and
* brake testing and testing to determine the vehicle rollover threshold.
As part of the consultation, the Government of Canada will seek input from provinces and territories on improving 15-passenger van safety. The issue will be discussed at the Council of Ministers meeting in September 2010 in Halifax, which will bring together the provincial, territorial and federal governments.
The provinces and territories, which share in the responsibility for road safety, regulate the use of vehicles used within their jurisdictions for school and sports activities.
Upon completion of the review, Transport Canada will undertake a safety awareness campaign to heighten knowledge of the safe use of 15-passenger vans.
Transport Canada will continue to work with its provincial and territorial partners, and manufacturers, along with New Brunswick Member of Parliament Yvon Godin who has proposed legislation on the issue, to improve the safety of all vehicles in Canada.
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Director of Issues Management and
Office of Canada's Transport Minister
John Baird, Ottawa
Transport Canada, Ottawa