Pilot project aims to catch drivers who speed past school buses in Man., Sask., Alta.
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014 5:40PM CST Last Updated Wednesday, November 19, 2014 6:48PM CST
A Winnipeg company has developed a new program aiming to catch drivers blowing past buses.
For the past 4.5 weeks, Teknisult has installed surveillance cameras on 10 buses in Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.
“(What) we’ve found in Manitoba so far (is) five violations per bus per week. In Alberta and Saskatchewan combined, we’re down to 1.8 violations per bus, per week,” said Maurice Gregoire, president and lead product designer at Teknisult.
On board with the program locally are two school buses in the Interlake School Division, and four school buses with Seven Oaks.
For a cost of $1,500, Teknisult will install three cameras and provide software for a bus.
It’s a cost local bus driver Danny Davis said is worth it.
“If that stops people, then it’s worth all the money and the effort to do it,” he said.
Davis said he sees drivers pass by his stopped bus daily, “not necessarily fast, but some don’t notice I think, and some choose to ignore it. What I have noticed is a lot of people want to crawl through, thinking that if I go slow enough it won’t be dangerous, but of course it can be, because kids can come from anywhere.”
According to the Winnipeg Police Service, there have been 17 tickets handed out in 2014 to drivers for not stopping at a school bus.
The total number for 2013 was 20 tickets.
“The fine is $673 for passing a school bus, so that would indicate to me, that the province takes a dim view of the offence and feels it's quite serious,” said Patrol Sgt. Damian Turner.
Maurice Gregoire said in the last month alone, Teknisult cameras caught about 80 cars disobeying the law by driving past a stopped school bus.
Winnipeg police say any video or pictures of drivers speeding past school buses would have to be investigated in conjunction with a statement from a witness.
Teknisult plans to have a full report ready in January. Those findings will be used to raise awareness across Canada.