July 16, 2015 - 12:40 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Two major bus crashes in the last year resulted in serious injuries and now the provincial government is moving forward with a safety review on the motor coach industry.
Minister of Transportation Todd Stone says the review will include examining safety statistics, analyzing vehicle inspections and vehicle licensing. It will also compare the province’s current regulations against other jurisdictions across Canada and in the United States.
Stone says staff will consult with law enforcement members, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the B.C. Trucking Association, tourism organizations and other agencies.
"B.C. has a strong framework that governs the motor coach industry, and I want to make sure that British Columbians and tourists can continue to have confidence in bus travel" Stone says. "We are going to take a look at our system, our regulations and at other jurisdictions to see if there are areas where we can improve to make sure bus travel on our highways is as safe as possible."
In the last year, there were two major tour bus crashes on the Coquihalla Highway near Merritt. The first crash injured 43 tourists after the vehicle tipped on its side. The second incident, on June 27 of this year, injured 38 after the bus hit a tow truck parked on the side of the road.
Stone says despite the two events, incidents involving motor coaches are 'very rare' on B.C. highways, but says with the review the ministry can determine if further improvements should be made to the existing system. At a press conference today, July 16, the minister said the provincial government has not conducted a review like this one for a number of years.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015