‘Could be dangerous’: Drivers must stop for school buses, West Shore RCMP says

‘Could be dangerous’: Drivers must stop for school buses, West Shore RCMP says
Photo supplied by SD62
A vehicle captured illegally passing a school bus with its stop sign out.

West Shore RCMP is reminding drivers to stop for school buses as students return to their classrooms from spring break on April 3.

Class is back in session for most school districts on the Island, including the Greater Victoria School District and the Sooke School District, where the West Shore RCMP operates.

Mounties say that since September, Mounties have already investigated 28 incidents of drivers passing school buses when the bus’ red lights are flashing and stop signs are activated in the West Shore.

These red lights and signs are generally activated when students are getting onto or departing a bus, making it a serious safety concern when vehicles drive past them.

“You never know when a child will unexpectedly run to, or from a bus, or walk in front of the bus to cross the street,” said Mounties in a release Wednesday.

“If traffic is not stopped in both directions this could be dangerous and increase the chances of a student being struck by a vehicle.”

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When the school year began in September, longtime bus driver Cameron Gordon-Findlay told CHEK News that dangerous encounters were on the rise.

Gordon-Findlay, who has been a school bus driver for 20 years, says there has been a recent spike in drivers passing school buses when they’re not supposed to in the West Shore.

“Every day there are these violations,” he said at the start of this school year.

“Their home could be right there and if a car comes through my red lights and through my stop signs, we can honk, we can yell, ‘Stop,’ but by then it’s too late,” he explained. “A 4,000-pound vehicle is no match for a kindergartener.”

Passing a school bus while its red lights are flashing can result in a $368 fine and three demerit points on your licence, according to the West Shore RCMP.

SEE ALSO: Victoria to consider motion asking for school liaison officers to be reinstated in SD 61

With files from CHEK’s Mackenzie Read

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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