Q&A - Seatbelt Laws for Mini Buses

Q&A ImageI am finding discrepancies when I ask drivers of mini-buses whether they make their passengers wear their seat belts. I used to have my Class 4 license and we were always required to make sure the passengers had them on. Some drivers and companies seem to think this is optional depending on the passenger. 

They have no medical exemption and I know this is being repealed shortly.

Some drivers think because they are stop & go for picking up passengers the passengers don't need to put on seat belts.

I know the law says everyone must wear a seat belt if it is there.

Can you please give me some direction on this?

Comments

Answer

You are right about wearing the seatbelt:

Seat belt assembly

220(4) A person in a motor vehicle being driven or operated on a highway must, if the motor vehicle has properly attached to it a seat belt assembly for the seating position occupied by that person, wear the complete seat belt assembly in a properly adjusted and securely fastened manner.

(5) Subsection (4) does not apply to a person

(a) driving a motor vehicle in reverse,

(b) who is in possession of, and produces on request to a peace officer, a valid and subsisting certificate

(i)  issued by the superintendent on the recommendation of a medical practitioner, or

(ii)  in the form established by the superintendent, signed by a medical practitioner and issued for a period not exceeding 6 months,

certifying that the person is,

(iii)  for the period stated in the certificate, unable for medical reasons to wear a seat belt assembly, or

(iv)  because of the person's size, build or other physical characteristic, unable to wear a seat belt assembly, or

(c) who is actually engaged in work that requires him or her to alight from and re-enter the motor vehicle at frequent intervals and who, while engaged in that work, does not drive or travel in that vehicle at a speed exceeding 40 km/h, or

(d) under age 16.

(6) A person must not drive on a highway a motor vehicle in which there is a passenger who has attained age 6 but is under age 16 and who occupies a seating position for which a seat belt assembly is provided unless that passenger is wearing the complete seat belt assembly in a properly adjusted and securely fastened manner.

(7) Subsection (6) does not apply if the passenger

(a) [Repealed 2010-14-20]

(b) is actually engaged in work that requires him or her to alight from and re-enter the motor vehicle at frequent intervals and the motor vehicle does not travel at a speed exceeding 40 km/h.

(8) Despite this section, if a seat belt assembly consists of a pelvic restraint and a separate upper torso restraint, only the pelvic restraint need be worn.

The driver is responsible to see that anyone between the age of 6 and 16 is seatbelted in.

This gets a bit more complicated when you start talking about a bus or a taxi though. There a child is defined as:

"child" means a person under age 9;

Normally a driver would be required to insure that the appropriate method of child restrain was used, but there are exemptions:

Exemptions

36.09 This Division does not apply to the driver or operator

(a) of a motor vehicle licensed in a jurisdiction outside Canada if the driver or operator is using an infant or child restraint system, booster seat or seat belt assembly in compliance with the laws of that jurisdiction,

(b) [Repealed 2010-14-20]

(d) who is in possession of and produces on request to a peace officer a valid and subsisting certificate issued by a medical practitioner certifying that the child is unable for medical or physical reasons to wear or be fitted into an infant or child restraint system, booster seat or seat belt assembly, including a child who does not fit within the specifications of any manufactured infant or child restraint system or booster seat that is available for purchase,

(g) of a bus, other than a bus with

(i)  a registered model year 1994 or later, and

(ii)  a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of less than 4 536 kg.

So, your mini bus model year 1994 or newer with a GVW of less than 4,536 kg is covered by child restraint rules and the driver must insure that the child is restrained.

The frequent stop exemption only applies to the driver and only in certain conditions:

Seat belt assembly

220  (5) Subsection (4) does not apply to a person

(c) who is actually engaged in work that requires him or her to alight from and re-enter the motor vehicle at frequent intervals and who, while engaged in that work, does not drive or travel in that vehicle at a speed exceeding 40 km/h,

 

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