Accident waiting to happen
As someone whose father was killed almost 40 years ago in a bus accident in Spain, I was more than a little put off by Canadian Safety Council spokesperson Catherine Benesch’s comments to CBC’s Early Edition on Jan. 3. When asked why seatbelts aren’t mandatory on buses, she replied “buses aren’t necessarily designed for seatbelts”. Neither were cars until they were finally installed; Benesch admitted seatbelts in passenger vehicles save “about one thousand Canadian lives a year.” She added — in the wake of the recent horrific northern Oregon bus accident which claimed nine lives — “it would have been good if we could say ‘yes, seatbelts save lives’ but there are other things to consider: driver distraction; the road conditions, what speed.” By this nonsensical, red herring logic we should also scrap car and airplane seatbelts. What I would like the Canadian Safety Council to say is “accidents will happen and therefore it is prudent that preventive measures be taken.”
It looks like the Harper government needs to be poked and prodded into action on this issue. Hopefully they will act before someone close to them dies in a bus accident.