Cameras are being placed on school buses to catch drivers who speed past when the bus stop sign is out. (CBC)

P.E.I.'s Department of Transportation is putting cameras on school buses to discourage drivers who speed by when students are loading and unloading.

Transportation Minister Ron MacKinley said the photo-radar-like cameras would snap pictures of licence plates when a bus has its stop sign out and red lights flashing.

MacKinley tried his own test run.

"I went by at about 60 km/hr and it picked my licence plate right clear off the back of the car. And then I came another way at about 78 km/hr and it picked up my licence plate again. We won't have to have the bus driver to … swear who was driving in court, like be able to testify who was driving and all this. We'll have it all on film."

MacKinley said there were a lot of complaints last year from bus drivers and parents about drivers about speeders — especially on the province's two major highways.

MacKinley doesn't know yet how many buses will be equipped. He's committed to spend $50,000 on the project, enough money for around 40 cameras.

"It's not how many people we can nab. I think once we send a few thousand dollar fines out and people know, it's going to act like a photo-radar. The message will be out there that make people think before they pass a school bus."

People breaking P.E.I.'s school bus law face a $5,000 fine and eight demerit points.