Q&A - Equipment Required for 14 Passenger Van

Q&A ImageI'm working on a construction site in Delta and we recently acquired a 14 passenger van/bus to transport workers or employees from the site office to the job site. As per WorkSafeBC, other than a class 4 licensed driver, the only thing we require is a Level 1 first aid kit (due to our proximity to hospital).

I'm trying to find out what's required to be on board; in regards to safety equipment (ie. fire extinguisher, etc.) required by the Motor Vehicle Act or MOTI. However, I seem to be finding conflicting information online.

The van is purely for transporting workers back and forth. There is zero compensation made off it, so I don't believe it falls under the Passenger Transportation Act. In one spot the PTA refers to this type of vehicle as a 'general passenger vehicle', but I am unable to locate any requirements for that type of vehicle.

If you can help me, that would be great, if not, if you can suggest who I can contact that would also be helpful.

Motor Vehicle Act & Regulations Advice

In general, your best bet for advice on the Motor Vehicle Act and Regulations would come from someone specializing in traffic enforcement. A police traffic services or Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) and the provincial Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE) are best.

The simple contact point for CVSE is often the nearest weigh scale.


You've also recognized that other agencies such as WorkSafeBC may be involved as well. Their equipment requirements may come from other legislation than the MVA and MVAR.

There is an area of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations that is specific to the transportation of workers.

No Fee for Transportation

The simplest case seems to be what you are describing, the employer providing the employees with totally free transportation to the job site. If any fee, compensation or deduction of any sort is expected of the employee the situation will change.

Equipment for a Bus

As you have noted, the van is designated as a bus under the Motor Vehicle Act:

"bus" means a motor vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons;

This would require that you carry breakdown warning devices:

Warning devices

207  (1) For the purpose of this section, "darkness" means the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise and any other occasion when there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible a substantial object on the highway at a distance of 60 m, and "daylight" means the balance of the 24 hour day.

(2) A person must not drive or operate on a highway a motor home licensed under this Act, or a commercial vehicle or combination of vehicles licensed under the Commercial Transport Act, that has a seating capacity of more than 10 passengers or where the overall width of the vehicle and the vehicle's load or the combination of vehicles' and the vehicle's load exceeds 2.3 m, unless there is carried in the driver's compartment of the vehicle, in a readily accessible location, warning devices

(a) of a type approved by the director to warn the travelling public of an emergency breakdown during darkness, and

(b) at least 2 red flags, of a minimum size of 30 x 30 cm, or 2 warning devices of a type approved by the director, for a warning during daylight.

(3) Every operator of a vehicle of a type referred to in subsection (2), when the vehicle becomes and so long as it remains disabled on a public highway

(a) during daylight, must place and retain 2 red flags or 2 warning devices of a type approved by the director on the highway, one at a distance of approximately 30 m in front of the vehicle and one at a distance of approximately 30 m behind the vehicle, and

(b) during darkness, must place and retain 2 approved warning devices appropriate for use during darkness, as provided in subsection (2), on the highway at the same distance in front and behind the vehicle as under paragraph (a).

You must also provide a seating position with a properly installed seat and seatbelt for each vehicle occupant. This is set out in Division 39 MVAR and 17.1.2 OHSR.

Fire Extinguisher

A fire extingisher is a good idea, but is only required if you are a mobility aid taxi or are carrying explosives:

Transporting explosives

206  (1) A person operating a vehicle transporting explosive cargo on a highway must at all times comply with this section.

(2) [Repealed 2000-9-36.]

(3) Every vehicle transporting explosives must be equipped with not less than 2 fire extinguishers, filled and ready for immediate use, and placed at a convenient point on the vehicle.

(4) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations governing the transportation of explosives and other dangerous articles by vehicles on the highways.

The OHSR requires a fire extinguisher on vehicles that transport employees off highway.

First Aid Kit

You have also mentioned WorkSafeBC and a first aid kit. This only appears to be a requirement for vehicles not designed for use on highways or mobility aid taxis.

They may also have other requirements for the transportation of workers and you would be wise to contact them for more advice.

Going Above and Beyond

One thing to keep in mind is that these are all minimums. You can choose to add extra equipment just to be on the safe side.

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The essentials (Fire extinguisher, first aid kit, safety triangles) along with all other aspects of mechanical safety for the vehicle, should result in a valid windshield sticker (the number on it should match the documentation) and for a passenger vehicle it will be valid for six months.