BC highway crash spurs safety review by transportation ministry

Vancouver, British Columbia — July 21, 2015 — Last month’s high-profile crash on B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway has prompted a thorough review of the province’s motor coach industry.

CBC News reports the June 27 collision—injuring over three dozen people after a tour bus slammed into a roadside tow truck—helped initiate the government’s Motor Coach Bus Safety Review, Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced June 16.

“Thankfully no one was killed,” Stone said at a news conference. “We already have a comprehensive bus safety program in British Columbia, but like anything else, we believe there is always room to do better.”

Over five dozen people were injured in a similar accident in August 2014, when a tour bus hit a median on the Coquihalla Highway before flipping over into a ditch and ejecting numerous passengers.

While Stone says such incidents are rare in the province, the Motor Coach Bus Safety Review—launching this summer and set to be completed by early 2016—is necessary to preserve confidence in bus travel.

The examination of the industry will cover various aspects, including safety statistics and performance, current regulations for driver licensing and training, and vehicle inspections and standards, according to the report. As they do not fit the Ministry’s definition of motor coach, school buses and transit buses will not be included in the review.

Currently 500 bus companies are registered in the province, with an estimated total fleet of 1,700 buses, according to the Vancouver Sun.

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