B.C. MP prepares motion to study mandatory use of seat belts on coaches

A Liberal MP from B.C. says he wants a federal transportation committee he sits on to study whether seat belts on coach buses should be made mandatory.

Ken Hardie says he has heard about the issue from many parents, families following Humboldt Broncos tragedy

Flowers and signs at the site of the April 6 bus crash in Saskatchewan that killed 16 people and injured 13 on a junior hockey team bus. (Guy Quenneville/CBC News)

A Liberal MP from B.C. says he wants a federal transportation committee to study whether seat belts on coach buses should be made mandatory.

"Every day we put tens of thousands of kids on school buses, tens of thousands more get on highway coaches as tourists and travelling from city to city. And I do know the construction, the safety amenities vary from type of coach," said Ken Hardie, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells.

Hardie is now preparing a motion for the Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities, of which he is a member, to study the issue in the wake of the crash that killed 16 people and injured another 13 on the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team bus on April 6. 

The wreckage of the fatal crash outside Tisdale, Sask. A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a semi-trailer, killing 16 and injuring 13. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Last week a bus company in the Maritimes said there should be an industry-wide discussion about seat belt use on coaches, while the Canada Safety Council has been advocating for their use for years.

It's unclear if the use of seat belts on the Humboldt Broncos bus would have saved any lives.

No federal regulations

Hardie, a former transportation worker, says he has heard from many parents and families about the use of seat belts on buses following the crash in Saskatchewan.

Across Canada, there are no regulations that say a coach bus must have seat belts, and even for the ones that do have belts, there are no laws requiring passengers to wear them.

Hardie says the committee will meet this week to discuss the motion.

With files from Jon Hernandez.