School boards lobby for traffic cameras on school buses
Trustees say exterior cameras will help catch drivers who zip by buses
The Manitoba School Boards Association wants to equip every school bus in the province with exterior cameras to catch drivers violating road rules.
Trustees voted in favour of the plan at an annual school board convention held Friday.
The board said the plan aims to improve safety for students who rely on school buses.
Heather Jupin has spent the last 14 years driving a school bus in Manitoba.
She said one day she saw a car come within about 30 centimetres of a child trying to cross the street.
"It makes you feel — it would totally make you feel like it was your fault," said Jupin.
She said the driver got away scott-free.
Robert Rivard, a trustee with the association, says drivers often zip by school buses when they stop.
"Bus drivers are very conscious of that fact," said Rivard.
"They report almost every time it happens, but it’s very hard to get that report to go through the system and end up in a ticket for the driver."
A pilot project in Seven Oaks School Division saw exterior cameras set up on all of the division's school buses to catch those drivers.
The 2010 project found 67 infractions in just 16 days in the division.
Don Remillard, the director of transportation for the division, said the program was a major success.
"It’s astronomical how many cars run our buses on a daily basis," said Remillard.
The company that manufactures the cameras said fines generated will pay for their installation.
The province is set to review the system and will make a decision in about six months.