EDITORIAL – Fatal crash raises the need for seatbelts in school buses again

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

SEATBELTS IN BUSES are an issue again in the wake of the tragic Christmas Eve bus crash on the Okanagan Connector.

Although investigation into the accident will take months, police now say most passengers on the bus weren’t wearing their seatbelts. They say passengers have a false sense of security in the big buses.

Seatbelts were mandated for new highway passenger buses more than two years ago, so the issue isn’t a lack of belts.

The accident also raises once again the question of whether seatbelts should be required for school buses. The reluctance to legislate them is based on claims that school buses are built to such a safe standard that they aren’t necessary.

Transport Canada points out that school buses have high roof crush standards, window retention and padded high-back seats.

Besides, there are concerns about kids wearing their seatbelts properly, and the difficulties of ensuring they wear them at all.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9652 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – Fatal crash raises the need for seatbelts in school buses again

  1. Bill Hadgkiss // January 4, 2023 at 8:40 PM // Reply

    Seatbelts are a great idea. They keep you in a familiar place for when you regain consciousness, instead of finding that you’re upside down jammed under a seat or thrown out through an open or broken window. They also keep the driver’s body in the seat so the hands can still steer and feet operate the pedals.

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