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

Newly elected Hope politicians took part in the Local Government Leadership Academy

The three-day event is aimed at helping new mayors and councillors navigate municipal politics

No records were beat, but Hope’s February temperatures aren’t average

Normally around 3C, the sub-zero temperatures made for both good and bad in the Fraser Valley

New Chilliwack YMCA was ‘worth the wait’ say visitors

Family Day will mark officially opening for new building, after sneak peek tours on Saturday

Opioid overdoses killing three people a month in Chilliwack

35 deaths in 2018 locally compare to 23 in 2017, 13 in 2016 up from about five per year before that

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Stabbing at Lower Mainland banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read