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Improving School Bus Safety in Canada

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Transport Canada wants feedback on adding new technologies to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to improve school bus safety.

School bus safety in Canada is a responsibility that’s shared between:

  • federal, provincial and territorial governments
  • school bus owners and operators
  • school boards, and
  • drivers

In January 2019, the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety created a Task Force on School Bus Safety to review safety standards and operations, both inside and outside school buses. The Task Force is made up of different levels of government, manufacturers, school boards, bus operators, labour unions and safety associations.

In February 2020, the Task Force’s Report of the Task Force on School Bus Safety identified four ways to improve school bus safety:

  • infraction cameras
  • extended stop signal arms
  • exterior 360° cameras
  • automatic emergency braking

These recommendations are based on information that proves that children are at greater risk in, or near, school bus loading zones than they are as school bus passengers.

We plan on introducing new requirements using an outcome-based approach, when possible. Outcome-based regulations focus on the results we want from a regulation, instead of a specific process or action that must be followed. Using outcome-based regulations would give companies some flexibility to choose the best way for them to meet the requirement, and help them develop and introduce these new systems.

An outcome-based approach provides broader regulations, meaning we may be able to accept systems that are shown to comply with international requirements and have the same safety goals. In some cases, Transport Canada may add special conditions or tests to the outcome-based approach to confirm our safety goals are met.

We want your thoughts on updating the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to require infraction cameras, extended stop signal arms and exterior 360° cameras on all new school buses regulated under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This is an informal consultation after which a regulatory proposal will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, followed by a formal comment period. You will also have the opportunity to provide feedback as part of the Canada Gazette process. The final regulatory requirements will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

We’re also holding a separate online consultation on whether automatic emergency braking systems should be included on new vehicles, including school buses.

We want to hear from you

We want to hear from stakeholders and the Canadian public. Your opinions and feedback are important. Please read our background document, and our explanation on outcome-based regulations, then have your say. There are three ways to participate:

  1. Send a formal written submission via the “Submissions” tab by September 30, 2020.
  2. Participate in our discussion forum through the “Have your say” tab. The forum will be open until September 30, 2020. To participate, please go to "register" at the top of the page or sign in.
  3. Send in your comments by email to RegulationsClerk-ASFB-Commisauxreglements@tc.gc.ca, and include “School Bus Safety Informal Consultation” in the subject line.

As set out in sections 19 and 20 of the Access to Information Act, be sure to identify any parts of your comments that we shouldn’t make public because they include personal information or third-party information. Explain why your comments should be kept private, and for how long.

Unless you tell us a section is private, it could appear in any regulatory proposal that Transport Canada publishes in the Canada Gazette.

Have your say

We are looking for feedback on 14 questions, including three in the discussion forum and 11 in the background document. You can also submit comments about general issues related to these technologies being required on all new school buses in Canada.

Please be sure to include data, technical information or other proof to support your comments.

Transport Canada wants feedback on adding new technologies to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to improve school bus safety.

School bus safety in Canada is a responsibility that’s shared between:

  • federal, provincial and territorial governments
  • school bus owners and operators
  • school boards, and
  • drivers

In January 2019, the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety created a Task Force on School Bus Safety to review safety standards and operations, both inside and outside school buses. The Task Force is made up of different levels of government, manufacturers, school boards, bus operators, labour unions and safety associations.

In February 2020, the Task Force’s Report of the Task Force on School Bus Safety identified four ways to improve school bus safety:

  • infraction cameras
  • extended stop signal arms
  • exterior 360° cameras
  • automatic emergency braking

These recommendations are based on information that proves that children are at greater risk in, or near, school bus loading zones than they are as school bus passengers.

We plan on introducing new requirements using an outcome-based approach, when possible. Outcome-based regulations focus on the results we want from a regulation, instead of a specific process or action that must be followed. Using outcome-based regulations would give companies some flexibility to choose the best way for them to meet the requirement, and help them develop and introduce these new systems.

An outcome-based approach provides broader regulations, meaning we may be able to accept systems that are shown to comply with international requirements and have the same safety goals. In some cases, Transport Canada may add special conditions or tests to the outcome-based approach to confirm our safety goals are met.

We want your thoughts on updating the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to require infraction cameras, extended stop signal arms and exterior 360° cameras on all new school buses regulated under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This is an informal consultation after which a regulatory proposal will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, followed by a formal comment period. You will also have the opportunity to provide feedback as part of the Canada Gazette process. The final regulatory requirements will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

We’re also holding a separate online consultation on whether automatic emergency braking systems should be included on new vehicles, including school buses.

We want to hear from you

We want to hear from stakeholders and the Canadian public. Your opinions and feedback are important. Please read our background document, and our explanation on outcome-based regulations, then have your say. There are three ways to participate:

  1. Send a formal written submission via the “Submissions” tab by September 30, 2020.
  2. Participate in our discussion forum through the “Have your say” tab. The forum will be open until September 30, 2020. To participate, please go to "register" at the top of the page or sign in.
  3. Send in your comments by email to RegulationsClerk-ASFB-Commisauxreglements@tc.gc.ca, and include “School Bus Safety Informal Consultation” in the subject line.

As set out in sections 19 and 20 of the Access to Information Act, be sure to identify any parts of your comments that we shouldn’t make public because they include personal information or third-party information. Explain why your comments should be kept private, and for how long.

Unless you tell us a section is private, it could appear in any regulatory proposal that Transport Canada publishes in the Canada Gazette.

Have your say

We are looking for feedback on 14 questions, including three in the discussion forum and 11 in the background document. You can also submit comments about general issues related to these technologies being required on all new school buses in Canada.

Please be sure to include data, technical information or other proof to support your comments.

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