Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) has announced the publication of the new CSA D270 Multi-functional activity buses (MFAB) standard, the first Canadian standard to provide voluntary requirements for the new proposed class of vehicle. MFABs are intended to be used as a safer alternative to vehicles that are not classified as a school bus, but which are still used to transport groups of school-aged passengers on educational or childcare facility outings, such as to sporting events or community activities.

“CSA has extensive expterise in developing national standards for school buses,” said John Walter, Vice President, Standards Development at CSA. “We have applied that same expertise to the new multi-functional activity bus standard. The intent was to develop a standard for a type of vehicle that is not classified as a school bus, but that is still used to occasionally transport students to events and activities, and therefore should be built to very similar standards for safety and construction.”

The MFAB standard covers construction standards such as joint strength, crashworthiness, rollover protection, emergency exits, compartmentalization and numerous safety features. It does not include requirements for traffic or pedestrian control devices such as warning lamps or stop arms, as these buses are not to be used for roadside passenger pickup or drop-off.

The CSA D270 standard was initially proposed in 2006. Currently, there are no Canadian federal regulations pertaining specifically to new non-conforming vehicles that can carry 11 or more persons, and are sold for the purpose of transporting students to or from school or school-related events. Following more than 1,000 crashes in 10 years, American federal requirements now regulate that such vehicles are required to meet the same federal standards as school buses.

It will be at the discretion of provincial governments to determine if they will adopt the new standard in whole or in part, and how they would enforce the requirements. It will also be up to interested manufacturers to generate sufficient test data to support a self-declaration that their vehicles meet the standard. The vehicles could then be subject to inspection by regulators that recognize the MFAB class of vehicle, to ensure they comply with any relevant legislation.

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