A 50-year-old school bus driver from Listowel has been suspended from driving for three days after he was found by the Ontario Provincial Police to be driving a school bus of children while under the influence.
On Tuesday afternoon, Huron County OPP responded to multiple calls about a school bus driving erratically on Harriston Road westbound, swerving both over the centre line and onto the shoulder of the road.
About 10 elementary school students were on the bus when it was stopped by police. The officers at the scene spoke with the driver and got him to take a roadside test.
The test came back in the "warn range" which means a blood alcohol concentration between 0.05 and 0.08. In Ontario, that results in immediate roadside licence suspension of at least 3 days.
Interlock device could prevent drunk driving
“You're counting on that driver and that company to have properly screened that driver,” said Andrew Murie, the president of MADD Canada.
Murie thinks school buses in Canada should be fitted with interlock devices, which would prevent anyone from driving a bus while under the influence. Public transit companies in France use the device.
“We just have had no kind of push from government, provincially, to regulate and have those as safety aspects of school transportation,” said Murie.
The president of Ontario School Bus Association, Perry Ferguson says it's going to take a few years for manufacturers to start building interlock systems into school buses, but it would be cheaper than installing them as an after-market device on buses.
“I see the value in it. Even once, it happening is too many times, if we can prevent that then I feel that investment is important and warranted,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson says while the technology is helpful, it does add to the cost of a school bus, and that cost would ultimately be passed on to taxpayers.