FREDERICTON - The New Brunswick government is strengthening policies for the transport of students as the result of an accident in January that claimed the lives of seven students and a teacher.

The seven Bathurst High School basketball players and the wife of their coach were killed Jan. 12, when their 15-passenger van swerved into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer.

An RCMP report says the van would not have passed a safety inspection and was using worn all-season tires.

A government working group says existing guidelines should be made enforceable policies, and presented Education Minister Kelly Lamrock with 15 new recommendations Tuesday.

The recommendations include using buses for the transport of 10 or more students, requiring the results of vehicle inspections and service to be sent to the department, and requiring the use of winter tires from Oct. 15 to April 30 every year.

Lamrock says the school districts have been told to use the new recommendations until the changes are formally put into effect.