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Children at risk

Parents in Canada and Ireland for decades have ignored the danger of seeing their children going off to school every morning in buses that are not fitted with seat belts.

Those same parents insist that their children "buckle up" every time they drive then in the family car. If they feel so strongly about their children's safety when driving themselves, why do they persist in trusting them to strangers driving school buses that don't have safety belts?

Thankfully this Nelsonian approach will soon be tolerated no longer in Ireland, not because of any native realization of the danger but because the European Parliament has adopted legislation mandating that seat belts must be worn by all passengers, including children, in vehicles in which they are installed.

Further, the European Commission is to introduce legislation making it mandatory to fit safety belts in all new school buses. This will become law for all member states of the European Union within a two-year period.

Here is one example where Europe is leading the way in regulating safety standards for school buses. If Europeans value their children's safety in this manner, why are Canadians, and for that matter, Americans, still turning a blind eye to the absence of seat belts in school buses?


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