2 more drivers charged with passing a school bus in Summerside

Two more drivers have been charged with passing a school bus displaying flashing red lights, bringing the number of such charges Summerside Police have laid to four in the past month.

'There's really no excuse for it other than driver inattention,' police say

Beginning Dec. 8, failing to stop for a school bus will result in 12 demerit points and driver's licence suspension for three months, plus a fine of up $5,000. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Summerside Police have charged two more drivers with passing a school bus displaying flashing red lights.

It brings the number of motorists charged with that offence by Summerside Police in the past month to four, with two other incidents still under investigation, said Sgt. Jason Blacquiere.

"There's really no excuse for it other than driver inattention," he said. "The buses are very visible, they're clearly marked, the lights are flashing so it's very concerning when you have students trying to get on and off the bus safely and cross the street."

On Nov. 7 at approximately 3 p.m., police received a report of a vehicle passing a school bus outside a daycare on Pope Road. Based on information from the bus driver and a witness, the vehicle was located and a 73-year-old female was charged, Blacquiere said.

On Dec. 5 at approximately 9 a.m., police received a similar report from the Water Street area near the Holland College campus. A 22-year-old West Prince man has been charged in relation to that incident.

Both drivers were issued tickets under the Highway Traffic Act, which carries a fine between $1,000 and $5,000.  

The province recently announced stiffer penalties that will take effect Dec. 8. Failing to stop for a school bus will result in 12 demerit points and a driver's licence suspension for three months, plus a fine up to $5,000.

"It's so easy to have something change and have a very serious accident just in the blink of an eye," Blacquiere said. 

"So we just urge everyone to use caution when they're driving, not just in school zones or around buses but everywhere."

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With files from Jessica Doria-Brown