The province will be reviewing fines for drivers passing stopped school buses, according to a statement released by Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone and Education Minister Mike Bernier, on Wednesday afternoon.
Changes are expected to be in place before the end of the school year.
Many drivers are unaware of the penalties for passing stopped school buses, despite the efforts to raise awareness. Some drivers still fail to stop when children are getting on and off the bus.
“I have heard from school bus drivers, trustees and parents that the current penalty – a $167-fine and three demerit points – is not enough to deter drivers,” said Stone.
When you see a school bus stopped, whether the bus is oncoming or you are behind the bus, with its red lights flashing, drivers must stop. When a bus has its flashing amber lights on, vehicles must slow down and prepare to stop.
“I’d like to thank Cindy Dettling, who drives a school bus in School District 60 – Peace River North, for her efforts in raising awareness that action is needed,” Stone said.
Another school bus driver filmed cars passing her stopped school bus, as she let the kids off.
In British Columbia, between 2009 and 2014, police issued 1,100 tickets for failing to stop for a school bus. Thankfully, in that period, no child died while getting on or off a school bus, but 14 children were injured.
“Parents expect their children to come home safely at the end of the school
day – and our Education system is focused on this each and every day. This
review is another step in keeping our kids safe,” said Bernier.
“School buses are yellow for a reason – it means ‘pay attention and be cautious.’ We all need to double our attention to safety when we see a school bus.”