Mr. Gus Mitges (Grey-Simcoe):
Mr. Speaker, the seatbelt laws now in force in most provinces apply to passenger cars, but in most cases do not apply to school buses and commercial buses. Statistics have shown that seatbelts have proven themselves in the prevention of serious accidents and many traffic deaths. However, it is disturbing to pick up a paper and read about school bus accidents that have resulted in death and serious injuries to school children that could have been prevented if seatbelts were available.
In Vancouver last month, serious injuries to ten young special-needs passengers were prevented when a school bus, equipped with seatbelts, was hit by a car and flipped over. Because of the seatbelts no one was thrown around and suffered severe injuries.
Just as vulnerable to serious injuries and death are those passengers travelling on public buses each day here in Ottawa and other municipalities. These passengers, including those standing in the buses each morning and evening, are more vulnerable to any accident that may take place, because of the absence of seatbelts. 1 realize that seatbelt legislation comes under provincial jurisdiction. However, I urge the federal Government to take the initiative by urging its provincial counterparts to pass legislation to make seatbelts mandatory on all school buses and on all commercial buses across Canada.
Subtopic: ROAD SAFETY
Sub-subtopic: CALL FOR MANDATORY USE OF SEATBELTS IN BUSES