Pilot program catches drivers speeding past school buses

A pilot program shows dangerous and illegal drive-bys are reduced through enforcement and awareness.

Awareness and enforcement help reduce dangerous drive-bys

Results of a pilot program show 11 per cent of prairie drivers drive by a stopped bus even when its stop sign is extended.

By now most motorists should know the dangers of driving past a stopped school bus when the stop arm is extended. But for some drivers the message still isn't getting through.

For four months a Winnipeg company, Teknisult Enterprises, tracked violations to find out how much the problem could be reduced through awareness and enforcement .

"The objective isn't to have written tickets," said Maurice Gregoire with Teknisult Enterprises. "It was to help those drivers understand how dangerous that behaviour is."

The company installed surveillance cameras on 10 buses in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. One of the cameras was in a Prince Albert bus.

Gregoire says he found on average,11 per cent of prairie drivers had violations. But after combining awareness and ticket enforcement there was less than a one per cent chance of violations.

"The data shows that when those two pieces are put together it works extremely well," Gregoire said.

Teknisult says it plans to present its findings to provincial governments and schools boards across Canada. The company hopes to convince them to install traffic surveillance cameras in buses to improve student safety.

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