Seatbelts on School buses Canada

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Thousands of injuries and numerous child deaths could have been prevented across Canada and the United States in the past three decades had school buses been equipped with seatbelts, an investigation by CBC's The Fifth Estate has found.

Yet, for more than 35 years, Transport Canada has been at the forefront of a North American-wide campaign against the use of seatbelts on school buses, based largely on a 1984 study that asserted they are not only unhelpful — they may also cause injuries.

Now, the four-month Fifth Estate investigation has exposed serious problems with that study and reveals that government officials have known for years that seatbelts save lives and prevent injuries on school buses — information the department has kept hidden from the public.

And in the wake of the CBC investigation, it appears cracks are showing within Transport Canada over its rigid position against seatbelts.  

After being told of results of The Fifth Estate's research, Transport Canada's chief of crashworthiness research said seatbelts are "a good first step" towards improving school bus safety.