We should be thankful to Global News for posting two photos of a school bus that rear-ended a TTC bus in Toronto because no one else publicized this important incident. Unfortunately we cannot show these photos here.

There has been an increase in concern over bus passenger safety since the Humboldt Broncos tragedy in Saskatchewan. Similarly two fatal collisions in the Ottawa area, one involving train and the other involving an impact to an overhanging structure at a bus station, have also contributed to that concern. At the same time the CBC’s Fifth Estate produced a documentary discussing the need for seat-belts onĀ  school buses.

The current collision of the school bus and the TTC transit bus would have been an important matter to document and describe to the public as this would be a teaching exercise to demonstrate what injuries could be expected. Unfortunately this opportunity was missed as only Global News covered this story and its description was very limited.

While Global news reported that the bus showed “extensive damage” this is a comment made by a person unfamiliar with vehicle crush and injury-producing collision severity. While there appeared to be significant damage above the front bumper the bumper itself was merely rotated and was positioned relatively close to its pre-impact location. The crush at the bumper level is the most important evidence because this is where the stiffest portion of the structure is located. However without any specific information about the injuries sustained by the occupants of the school bus it is difficult to discuss whether seat-belts might have been effective in this instance.

This demonstrates once again how little information is passed onto the public so that they can obtain some basic, unbiased information about what is important in bus passenger safety. Parents may send their children onto a school bus and families or hockey teams may travel on inter-city coaches but their education about what may kill them or their children is needlessly miniscule. Information and objective evidence is there, in large quantities, due to the unfortunate circumstances of bus crashes, yet we refuse to allow that information and evidence to used to educate ourselves. That is an additional tragedy.