Bhutila Karpoche MPP, Parkdale–High Park

Government of Ontario

Petition: Support Seat Belts on School Buses

TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF ONTARIO:

WHEREAS approximately 830,000 students are transported in school buses every school day in Ontario; and

WHEREAS the safety of Ontario’s students should be the top priority of the government of the day, to ensure that every preventative measure is taken to protect them from harm or death on our roads and highways while travelling on school buses; and

WHEREAS recently revealed evidence has demonstrated that compartmentalization is ineffective in protecting students in school bus side collisions, rollovers and vertical lifts, and that the use of three-point seat belts has been scientifically proven to mitigate the risk of potential injury or death in such events; and

WHEREAS the number of 6,696 injuries and 19 fatalities across Canada since 1999 as a result of school bus accidents and collisions demands immediate action to prevent any further casualties; and

WHEREAS the US National Transportation Safety Board and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have released reports and statements recommending the installation of lap and shoulder belts on all school buses due to improved occupant protection; and

WHEREAS several states in the US already have legislation in place that requires three-point seat belts on school buses; and

WHEREAS Ontario has both the responsibility and an opportunity to be a national leader in ensuring that no student is unnecessarily at risk of injury or death in a school bus accident or collision; and

WHEREAS numerous education, transportation, and parent groups have voiced their support in making sure no effort is spared in protecting Ontario’s students;

THEREFORE WE, the undersigned, petition the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to engage in any required consultation process with all relevant stakeholders, and to mandate the installation of three-point seat belts on school buses.

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