‘Time has come’ to ban passenger vans: Mom - Metro US

‘Time has come’ to ban passenger vans: Mom

A group comprised of mothers and school bus drivers says Canada must ban the use of 15-seat passenger vans — which it calls “death traps” — by schools to transport students.

Isabelle Hains lost her 17-year-old son Daniel in a van accident. He was travelling with his teammates from the Bathurst High Phantoms basketball team when the driver of the van lost control. Seven boys, aged 15 to 18, and the driver were killed.

Hains hopes Transportation Minister Chuck Strahl will hear the group’s plea.

“I feel it is my obligation as a mother to send a message loud and clear,” she told reporters yesterday.

“The time has come to ban 15-passenger vans for student transportation … the time for studying 15-passenger vans has passed a long time ago.”

Strahl is set to release the findings of a preliminary study into the vans’ safety when he meets with provincial and territorial counterparts in Halifax today and tomorrow. The study was ordered by former transportation minister John Baird in June.

According to Hains, the bus her son was travelling in on Jan. 12, 2008, was originally meant to transport cargo before being converted to a passenger vehicle and sold to Bathurst High.

“The van that my son was killed in … (was) never meant to transport human beings.”

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