Study collects videos of hundreds of drivers passing stopped school buses
Published Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:40PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 24, 2015 6:48PM CST
A pilot project that saw cameras placed on school buses produced some sobering data and hundreds of videos of cars ignoring the buses stop arms and flashing lights.
The project was funded by Teknisult, a company that manufactures the camera systems.
Ten school buses in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta participated in the program and each had three cameras and a hard drive installed.
Maurice Gregoire, Teknisult’s president, calls the results disturbing and says the videos were hard to watch.
"A vehicle blows by close enough for him to have to step back and he actually kicks the vehicle as it goes by, and he's not happy,” said Gregoire as he described a video showing a parent nearly being hit by a car as he crossed the street to meet a stopped school bus.
In Manitoba, three school divisions participated: Seven Oaks, Brandon and Interlake.
The results showed 2.9 per cent of drivers failed to stop in rural areas and 7.1 per cent didn’t stop in urban areas.
Louis Riel School Division Superintendent Duane Brothers found the videos collected in the project troubling but says he wasn’t surprised by the results.
He says the division’s 50 school buses deal with motorists ignoring stop arms and flashing lights on a daily basis.
In order to fight back, the division has begun installing its own cameras on buses.
"And so if there is an infraction, we can record that and forward that information on to the Winnipeg Police Service,” said Brothers. “If you make a mistake like that, you should learn from that kind of a mistake."
The Winnipeg Police Service says video evidence, combined with a written statement from the bus driver, allows them to hit drivers who pass a stopped school bus with a $675 fine and two demerits.