Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two key recommendations resulting from N.B. team crash won't be enforced

BATHURST, N.B. - New Brunswick's education minister says the province won't enforce two key recommendations of a coroner's inquest into a horrifying highway crash that claimed eight lives in January 2008.

Seven members of the Bathurst High School boys basketball team and the wife of their coach were killed when their school van collided with a transport truck during a snow storm.

Roland Hache met with parents today to tell them that most of the recommendations have been accepted but the government can't follow two recommendations that would restrict travel to school buses, and require that only people who hold certified Class 2 school bus licences drive them.

He says that would cost too much, adding that school groups and sports teams say the lack of available buses and drivers would have a negative impact on their schedules.

Instead, Hache says anyone driving to extracurricular activities must have the appropriate licence for the vehicle being used and they must have completed a mandatory driver safety program being offered by the province.

Hache says the province is working to improve national standards for school vehicles and travel schedules for sports, while Transportation Minister Denis Landry says the shoulder of the highway - which was blamed in part for the accident - has been repaired.

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