School district fearful of vehicles passing stopped buses
Anglophone East superintendent Greg Ingersoll says bus drivers report cars pass stopped school buses daily
Anglophone East School District's superintendent is asking members of the public to record the licence plate of any vehicle they see passing a school bus when it has its red stop lights flashing.
Greg Ingersoll said the district is trying to mount a public awareness campaign about the problem of vehicles passing school buses.
"Typically on any given day, our bus drivers report about five incidents where people are driving through the red lights when the lights are flashing," said Ingersoll.
It happens about 900 times a year.- Greg Ingersoll, district superintendent
"It happens about 900 times a year. It's a real safety concern for us."
Traffic in both directions is required to stop when a school bus is stopped with its red lights flashing, enabling students to cross the road, if necessary, after exiting the bus or to get on board it.
"We even had one driver that passed the bus on the inside of the bus," said Ingersoll.
"So he passed on the side where the doors open, where the kids are loading. That car actually passed on that side and he had his red lights flashing.
"Those kind of things just really leave our drivers almost traumatized to think of what could happen if the timing is just wrong."
Bus drivers try to record the licence numbers and vehicle descriptions of anyone who passes them when their lights are flashing.
The information is then forwarded to the RCMP. Ingersoll encourages members of the public to do the same.
The fine for passing a stopped school bus with its warning lights on is $1,006.50 and the loss of four demerit points.
"It's one of the stiffest fines for cars in Canada," said Ingersoll.
"Certainly the message has to be that you can't do that."