School Bus Restraints for Small Children in Canada


The objective of the study was to investigate the relative safety offered to children of different ages by compartmentalization and by child restraints in the context of travelling in school buses. Testing on an acceleration sled using dummies representing children of different ages, mass and heights was performed in order to achieve this.


This study has demonstrated that:

  • Children whose mass is 18 kg (40 lb.) and under, or until they reach approximately 4½ years, would benefit from being restrained in child restraints appropriate to their height and weight while travelling in a school bus. Proposing an amendment to the universal lower and tether anchorage regulations to extend their applicability to all new school buses would facilitate the installation of child restraints in school buses.
  • Older children continue to be well protected by school bus compartmentalization. 


Based on this study, the Department is proposing to amend the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to make the requirements of CMVSS 210.1 “User-Ready Tether Anchorages for Restraint Systems 17 and CMVSS 210.2 “Lower Universal Anchorage Systems for Restraint Systems 18 applicable to all new school buses. The proposed amendments would introduce a requirement for all new school buses to be equipped with user-ready tether and lower universal anchorages on every bench seat: one set of user-ready tether and lower universal anchorages for each school bus bench seat whose width is 762 mm or less, or two sets for school bus bench seats wider than 762 mm.

Currently, the regulation requires that two forward-facing designated seating positions be equipped with lower universal anchorages in all new buses whose gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is 4 536 kg or less. 


17 Canada Gazette references to follow.

18 Canada Gazette references to follow.

Date modified: