A Manitoba woman is pressing the provincial government to have seat belts installed on all school buses.
Petra McGowan, with Manitoba Parents for Mandatory Seatbelts, says the movement is gaining traction.
“My kid is six years old now,” McGowan told 680 CJOB Wednesday. “She’s a first-grader, and from the first moment she stepped on board a school bus, I was very confused.
“Not having (seatbelts) on a school bus really, really puzzled me. I did look up the conclusions of the Transport Canada 1984 study that is used to advocate for no seatbelts on school buses, and immediately I was even more confused.
“It was very clear rollovers and side impacts were completely omitted from the study, and those are traditionally the types of accidents that are most lethal.”
McGowan said she launched a Facebook group on the issue with a few fellow like-minded parents, and has seen a significant increase in engagement on the topic.
“Parents are coming to us and saying the obvious thing – we all require seatbelts everywhere else, why are they not on school buses?
“I’ve seen lots of simulation studies that are done by the leading safety experts in the United States, and when you watch them and you watch a rollover or a side impact, the kids are literally tossed like a salad. They’re flying all over the place.
“Then when you watch a belted simulation, you can totally see that it would have prevented so much injury, broken bones and potential death.”
The office of Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler said Wednesday he’s looking into the issue, and that the province will have an official response soon.
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