LETTER: Put seatbelts into school buses

The death of a child in the front hall of a school has been thought to be impossible due to all the safety protocols ...

The death of a child in the front hall of a school has been thought to be impossible due to all the safety protocols adopted by school boards; however, that impossibility has been so sadly dispelled here in Abbotsford.

The death of a child on a school bus is regularly feared as it has happened a number of times, and sadly (Nov. 21) it has happened again – this time in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as six youngsters have been killed and 23 injured.

In that case, it was driver incompetence as the 24-year-old vehicle operator has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

And, undoubtedly, every school-age student’s parents and grandparents and family have to wonder if seatbelts would have saved the lives of those six children and prevented injury to the other 23.

It is no longer the time to have another debate on the issue of school bus safety belts; it is now the time to have legislation passed and for school boards everywhere to have harness-type seatbelts installed and/or new buses to be bought that already have them as one of their safety features.

It is time for local, regional and national governments to take action to save another student’s life.

And it should not be shrugged off as a matter of cost.  One cannot put a dollar value on the life of a child.

It is time for the Abbotsford board of education to be a leader in this province and in our country; it is time to prevent the loss of the life of another student.

G.E. MacDonell

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