Winnipeg parents ask for seatbelts on school buses


A Manitoba woman urges the provincial government to install seat belts on all school buses.

Petra McGowan, along with Manitoba Parents for mandatory seatbelts, says the movement is gaining ground.

"My child is six now," McGowan told 680 CJOB on Wednesday. "She's in first grade and from the first moment she got on a school bus, I was very confused.

"Not having a seatbelt in a school bus really pissed me off. I took a look at the findings of the 1984 Transport Canada study, which advocated not having a seatbelt on school buses, and I have everything immediately was even more confused.

"It was very clear that rollovers and side impacts were completely omitted from the study, and these are traditionally the most deadly types of accidents."

A school bus crushes against the fence of St. Vital's backyard on the first day of school

McGowan said that she launched a Facebook group on the issue with some like-minded parents, and saw a significant increase in commitment on the subject.

"Parents come to us and say the obvious thing: we all need seat belts everywhere else, why are not they in school buses?

"I have attended many simulation studies done by leading security experts in the United States. When you look at them and look at a flip or side impact, the kids are literally waving like a salad. They fly everywhere.

"Then, when you look at a simulation with a belt, you can see that it would have saved so many injuries, fractures and potential death."

Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler's office said on Wednesday that he was looking into the matter and that the province would have an official response shortly.

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