Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tribune Post: Sackville-based bus company banned from carrying NB students

Sackville Tribune PostA Sackville-based bus company has been temporarily banned by New Brunswick Education Minister Jody Carr from transporting students.

The decision came as the result of an incident last week when two buses belonging to Prestige Bus Service of Sackville, which were carrying about 60 Marshview Middle School students on an educational field trip to Halifax, were stopped by Nova Scotia highway safety inspectors. One bus was stopped near the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax while the second bus was ordered off of the highway in Enfield.

Click here to read original article in the Sackville Tribune Post

Highway vehicle inspectors carried out roadside, walk-around inspections on both vehicles, which resulted in lengthy delays for the students, and subsequently found that both buses failed to meet tire-tread standards.

The tires found to be less than the regulatory tread depth limit of 3.17 millimetres, were allegedly located on what are known as ‘tag axles’, the first of two rear axles which provide additional support for unusually heavy loads. The main rear drive axle, which comprises dual wheels on each side that provide the power and force needed to move the vehicle, is located behind the ‘tag axle’.

Reports of the incident have been met with outcries by the public, some of whom are outraged by the alleged vehicle safety violations and others who believe the situation has been blown out of proportion.

A Bathurst mother who lost her teenage son in a 15 passenger van collision near Bathurst which claimed the lives of seven high school basketball players and their coach’s wife on January 12, 2008 said in an email to the Sackville Tribune-Post last week that the New Brunswick Department of Education "hasn't learned a thing" from the Boys in Red Tragedy.

Isabelle Hains says the violations for winter tire regulations are “unbelievable after everything we have been through these past three years.”

She added that she can’t believe that school children were allowed to be transported to extra curricular activities in charter buses that were not outfitted with the proper winter tires.

“…children continue to be transported to extra curricular activities in an unsafe manner," she said.

When contacted by phone on Monday, a representative for Prestige Bus Service said the company did not wish to comment on the incident at that time.

Click here to read original article in the Sackville Tribune Post