One of the buses equipped with cameras. Max Winkelman photo.

B.C. school district installs cameras on school buses to catch illegally passing drivers

Residents warned about hefty fines

School District 27 in the Cariboo has been installing cameras to catch drivers passing them while they’re stopped to load or unload students, which means some drivers may be faced with a heavy fine weeks after the fact.

“Some of our buses now have the ability to take video footage outside the bus and so we’re able to see when people go through our load lights at bus stops,” says Randy Cobb, assistant manager of facilities and transportation with the school district.

100 Mile House Staff Sgt. Svend Nielsen described one such an incident late last year.

“We had a report from a school bus driver on Dec. 5, 2018 at 8 a.m. of a vehicle passing a school bus with its warning lights and stop signs activated on a regular route along Horse Lake Road at Fallsway Road. Basically, the bus was doing a routine stop picking up students on their way to school heading eastbound on Horse Lake Road, when a dark blue older model Pontiac heading westbound slowed down as if to stop, then continued through at an accelerated speed nearly colliding with another vehicle which appeared to pull out behind the bus as well, causing the driver of the Pontiac to make an evasive manoeuver to avoid a collision.”

Children were loading and parents were standing at Fallsway Road during the incident, according to Nielsen.

“The vehicle was identified through the use of the new cameras placed on one of five new buses in our area. The cameras are HD quality and offer high-resolution video and images from their system. It was fairly easy and straightforward to identify the vehicle and licence plate.”

Nielsen issued a $368 fine under Section 149 of the Motor Vehicle Act (Fail to Stop for School Bus) to the registered owner about two weeks later as a result.

The first such camera was added a couple of years ago now, according to Cobb.

“There is camera companies that have that technology now. So we’re taking advantage of it.”

Cobb suspects that at least they don’t get repeats because it is a “substantial fine.”

The passing of loading or unloading school buses is a regular issue, according to Cobb.

“It’s fairly constant in our district. It’s probably weekly.”

There haven’t been any incidents involving students recently, according to Cobb.

“There have been what I would say maybe close calls where students are already off the bus trying to cross when they go through but not lately anyways that someone has been nearly hit. It’s scary when it happens for everybody.”

The cameras are recording all the time, says Cobb. Then when there’s an incident the driver can let them know and they’ll look up the footage.


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Royal Bay Secondary students take flight in ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Play tells the story of the orphan who becomes Peter Pan

WATCH: Oak Bay wins regional skating competition

Winning tradition continues leading up to provincials

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Most Read