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  NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

2007LCS0009-000560

May 3, 2007

Ministry of Labour and Citizens' Services

 

SEATBELT LAWS, INSPECTIONS, FINES PROTECT FARM WORKERS

 


VICTORIA – Mandatory seatbelts, loss of licence, more inspections, more inspectors, and more education mean more protection for B.C.’s farm workers, Labour and Citizens’ Services Minister Olga Ilich said today.

 

“These changes build on the work we have done previously to protect farm workers – and we are prepared to enforce new measures fully,” Ilich said.

 

A regulation change to the provincial Motor Vehicle Act requires one seatbelt for every person in a vehicle. A new fine will hit employers and vehicle owners – and the driver – if they allow a vehicle to be driven with more passengers than there are proper seats.

 

Passengers cannot share seats or seatbelts under the regulation. Drivers, owners and employers are responsible for making sure that there are proper seats and seatbelts for every passenger.

 

The government will continue joint roadside vehicle inspections, make more site visits for employment standards and safety, add officers, and fund enhanced education for farm workers and employers.

 

Farmers must use only licensed contractors. Farm labour contractors will lose their licences for offences. Safety and employment requirements must be posted in all vehicles transporting farm workers.

 

“Making B.C. roads safer is a priority for this government, and increasing seatbelt use is one of the best ways to save lives on our roads,” said Solicitor General John Les.

 

“B.C.’s farmers fully support all government initiatives around safety and compliance on the farm or during transportation to the workplace,” said Steve Thomson, executive director of the B.C. Agriculture Council.


 

“Workplace safety is a top priority for B.C.’s farmers. We are fully committed to strengthening our efforts under the Memorandum of Understanding that we signed with the Province around Employment Standards Act compliance.”

 

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Media

contact:

Barb Wright

Communications Director

Ministry of Labour and Citizens’ Services

250 387-2699

Cindy Rose

Public Affairs Officer

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General

250 356-6961

 

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