Canadian Standards Association unveils new standard for vehicles used to transport children for school-related events and activities



    TORONTO, Aug. 13 /CNW/ - Canadian Standards Association (CSA), a leading
developer of standards and codes, today officially announced the publication
of the new CSA D270 Multi-functional activity buses (MFAB) standard. This is
the first Canadian standard developed to provide voluntary requirements for
the new proposed class of vehicle. MFABs are intended to be used as a safer
alternative to vehicles not classified as a school bus but which are still
used to transport groups of school-aged passengers to sporting events,
community activities or other such educational or childcare facilities and
outings.
    "CSA has extensive expertise in developing national standards for school
buses," says John Walter, Vice President, Standards Development, CSA. "We have
applied that same expertise to the new multi-functional activity bus standard.
The intent was to develop a standard for a type of vehicle that is not
classified as a school bus but that is still used to occasionally transport
students to events and activities and therefore should be built to very
similar standards for safety and construction."
    Construction standards such as joint strength, crashworthiness, rollover
protection, emergency exits, compartmentalization, and numerous safety
features which are designed to make the school bus one of the safest vehicles
are part of the requirements for the MFAB standard. The new standard does not
include requirements for traffic and pedestrian controls devices such as
warning lamps or stop arms as these buses are not to be used for roadside
pick-up and drop-off of passengers.
    The CSA D270 Multi-functional activity buses standard was initially
proposed in 2006 as members of the CSA Technical Committee (TC) responsible
for school buses standards began seeing non-conforming vehicles, or those not
classified or tested to school bus standards, being increasingly used for the
transportation of students for school related activities in Canada. Currently
there are no Canadian Federal regulations pertaining specifically to new
non-conforming vehicles that can carry 11 or more persons and are sold for the
purpose of transporting students to or from school or school related events.
Following more than a thousand accidents in 10 years, American federal
requirements now regulate that such vehicles are required to meet the same
federal standards as school buses.
    It will be at the discretion of provincial governments to determine if
they will adopt the new standard in whole or in part and how they would
enforce the requirements. It will be up to interested manufacturers to
generate sufficient test data to support a self-declaration that their
vehicles meet the CSA D270-08 Multi-functional activity buses standard. The
vehicles could then be subject to inspection by regulators that recognize the
MFAB class of vehicle to ensure they comply with any relevant legislation.
    CSA school bus and MFAB standards alone cannot prevent accidents and they
are not substitutes for thorough, ongoing, and comprehensive safety training
of drivers and monitoring of passengers. Road conditions, weather, vehicle
maintenance, traffic laws, speed, driver fatigue and health, and other risk
factors must also be taken into account when operating any vehicle.

    About CSA

    Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a membership association serving
industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in Canada and the
global marketplace. As a leading solutions-based standards organization,
providing standards and codes development, application products, training and
advisory services, CSA aims to enhance public safety, improve quality of life,
preserve the environment and facilitate trade. The Canadian Standards
Association is a division of CSA Group, which also consists of CSA
International, which provides testing and certification services for
electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products; and
OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory
services for retailers and manufacturers. For more information visit
www.csa.ca

    Version française disponible





For further information:

For further information: Anthony Toderian, Senior Media Relations
Officer, CSA Group, T: (416) 747-2620, E: anthony.toderian@csagroup.org

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