Lord Selkirk School Division is launching a campaign addressing traffic violations against school buses.
‘Think of Us on the Bus’ was developed to keep students safe. It’s to address the problem of drivers who pass school buses while red lights and stop signs are activated.
As part of the campaign, stop arm cameras will be installed on buses, so the division will be able to provide video evidence of violations to the RCMP.
LSSD conducted its own research, discovering that on average there were 36 violations per day.
During a two week period in February, school bus drivers documented 309 violations. In addition, during a two week period in late November and December, 340 violations were recorded.
"The numbers were shocking," said Lord Selkirk School Division transportation supervisor Mike Munday. "We average over 30 a day... cars passing our school buses and putting our kids in danger."
The school division has 60 buses. Over the summer they will be outfitted with high definition cameras. Starting in the fall, those cameras will capture the license plates of vehicles driven past buses with stop signs activated.
The fine for passing a school bus with its lights and signs activated is $673, plus two demerit points.
"The ultimate goal is not to issue tickets it's to keep our kids safe and help traffic stop," said Munday. "The amount of danger for our kids... I mean on a highway going 100 kilometres per hour, it would be fatal and it'd be a big tragedy for our community if it got to that point."
The ‘Think of Us on the Bus’ campaign will have three phases: inform, educate, and enforce.