Transport Canada to make seat belts mandatory on highway buses

News release

July 11, 2018    Ottawa, ON    Transport Canada

The Government of Canada is always looking at new standards and rules to keep Canadians safe on our roads.

As seat belts have a strong and proven record of saving lives, Transport Canada will soon make them mandatory on newly built medium and large highway buses. As a result of these changes, all highway buses built on September 1, 2020 or later will require seat belts.

Overall, buses are a safe means of transportation; however, seat belts can improve safety even further by helping prevent passengers from being ejected during a collision or rollover.

Transport Canada first proposed seat belt requirements in 2017. Industry and stakeholder feedback was considered in the new, final requirements.


“We’ve all heard the message to buckle up over the years, and I think it’s time we brought this approach to highway buses too. By having seat belts on highway buses, we can help reduce injuries in severe collisions, such as rollovers, and improve safety for everyone.”   

The Honourable Marc Garneau,
Minister of Transport

Quick facts

  • Medium and large buses are defined as having a weight over 4,536 kg.

  • Small buses (under 4,536 kg), with the exception of school buses, already have lap and shoulder belts.

  • The new requirements will not apply to school buses as they are already designed to protect school children in the event of a crash; however, school bus operators can install them on a voluntary basis, so long as they meet Transport Canada’s requirements.

Associated links


Delphine Denis
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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