Sudbury

Some school bus passengers in the Sudbury region are now buckling up

A one-year pilot project that puts seatbelts on school buses started in Sudbury earlier this month.

School bus co-ordinator says everything has run very well since the pilot started two weeks ago

A spokesperson with the Sudbury Student Services Consortium says three buses have been outfitted with shoulder and lap seat belts. (Erik White/CBC )

A one-year pilot project that puts seatbelts on school buses started in Sudbury earlier this month.

It's getting underway after three communities across Canada were chosen last year to take part in a Transport Canada project.

Three school buses with Northway Bus Lines are now equipped with both lap and shoulder belts for riders, says Renée Boucher, executive director of the Sudbury Student Services Consortium.

The first few seats have five-point harness belts for younger students.

Boucher says everything has run very well since the pilot started two weeks ago.

"For these students ... they have been in vehicles all their lives. They come into a vehicle and they buckle up. It's second nature," she said.

"So it really is running smoothly ... Children are hopping in, they're going into their seats and they're buckling up."

There is also a bus monitor on each bus to help younger students with fastening the belts.

Boucher says Transport Canada will review the final data to determine next steps.

"We want to look at the different issues or concerns, or what we can learn in terms of transporting students with seat belts during the summer, as opposed to the winter, and what we can learn," she said. "So we're doing it for an entire year."

Read more in the report of the Task Force on School Bus Safety, Strengthening School Bus Safety in Canada.

With files from Angela Gemmill

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