N.S. school boards say motorists are passing school buses, despite stiff fines
Published Wednesday, October 12, 2016 8:07PM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, October 13, 2016 3:56PM ADT
School boards across Nova Scotia say motorists passing school buses that have their warning lights on is a growing and potentially dangerous problem.
From the start of the 2015 school year to the end of February 2016, there were 1,100 reports from across Nova Scotia of motorists ignoring red flashing lights from school buses indicating drivers to stop.
There has been a small increase in the number of tickets handed out, and fines are steep if motorists get caught.
"For failing to stop with a school bus with the red lights on, the fine is $410,” says NS RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke. “For failing to slow down and yield to a school bus with flashing orange lights, the fine is $295.”
With yellow paint and flashing lights, there's not much more school buses can do to become more visible.
School boards across the province say to change public thinking, there should be a campaign.
“Not only school bus safety during school bus safety week, but the importance of it 10 months of the year, when we have thousands and thousands of young Nova Scotians getting on school buses and going to school every day," says Doug Hadley of the Halifax Regional School Board.
Some want more cameras mounted on school buses; each district has only a handful.
"Without that technology on the buses, it's up to the school bus driver to be able to capture that information,” says Trish Smith of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association. “And that can be very difficult, when you have a bus full of children behind you."
Police say video of violations provides irrefutable evidence that a violation takes place, but the HRSB doubts if cameras will be effective as a deterrent.
“I don't know if cameras would do anything to change behavior, because we already have laws in place,” says Hadley.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ron Shaw.