Ban on 15-passenger vans urged
Two mothers who lost their sons in separate van accidents want provincial governments to ban the use of 15-passenger vans.
Isabelle Hains and Stella Gurr took their ongoing fight to have 15-passenger vans pulled off the road to a meeting of provincial transportation ministers on Wednesday in Halifax.
Haines's son, Daniel, was one of eight people killed when their Bathurst High School van was hit by a transport truck just outside the northern New Brunswick city after returning from a basketball game in Moncton.
Haines was joined by Gurr, a B.C. woman whose son also died in 2008 crash involving a 15-passenger van crash in Manitoba.
Haines has been lobbying governments since the tragic Bathurst van accident to ban the vehicles. She said the time is over for studies and reviews.
The federal government ordered a review of the 15-passenger vans after Acadie-Bathurst NDP MP Yvon Godin introduced a private member's bill, which he called the "Boys in Red bill" referring to the high school basketball team, to impose a Canadawide ban on the vehicles.
Godin's proposed bill would make changes to the Criminal Code, which would make it an offence to transport students in vans with more than 10 and fewer than 17 seats.
A Transport Canada spokesperson said a decision of the review of 15-passenger vehicles will be made later this year.
The Transport Canada report will be discussed on Thursday by the ministers but the department will not release it to the public.
A coroner's inquest into the Bathurst van crash made 24 recommendations, including a prohibition on transporting students in 15-passenger vans. The inquest recommended only school buses or "multi-function activity vehicles" be used for transporting students.
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Quebec have all stopped the vehicles from being used to transport students to school activities.
According to the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, 1,100 people in the U.S. were killed in single-vehicle rollovers involving the vans between 1992 and 2002.
Reviews found the vans were three times more likely to roll over than any other vehicle.