Every day, school bus drivers in the Southeast see vehicles drive past while the stop signs and flashing red lights are activated on the bus, and children are either getting onto or off the bus.
Nathan Friesen is a parent who also sees this happen just outside his home on Highway 52 where a school bus picks up and drops off his young child.
He has video footage of an infraction that happened on Wednesday morning of a vehicle travelling highway speed past the school bus while his child was approaching to get on board.
This dad says it happens a lot and he gets nervous each school day.
“There are drivers that aren't paying attention to their surroundings I guess,” Friesen says. “But (I’m) grateful that the student doesn't have to cross the highway, which could have been quite tragic on numerous occasions if that was the case.”
Both the Hanover and Seine River School Divisions report that on a daily basis, motorists are not stopping for buses that have their stop signs activated and red lights flashing.
Robert Warkentin, Director of Transportation for Hanover, says it feels like these infractions are happening more often.
“It is a big problem,” he says. “We definitely don't want to have one of those calls where we have to go where there is a near miss or an injury or anything along those lines.”
Warkentin says this is especially a problem on the highways, but adds these infractions also happen in urban areas. Hanover has 85 buses that transport over 5,700 students this year.
Seine River Superintendent Ryan Anderson says their bus drivers have similar experiences.
Anderson and Warkentin note that an increasing number of school buses are equipped with cameras which help RCMP investigate infractions.
The hope is that drivers will change their habits soon and become more aware of their surroundings before a serious accident happens, Warkentin says.
In Manitoba, if you are convicted of passing a stopped school bus that has its stop arms extended and red loading lights flashing, you could face a fine of $673.65 and demerits.
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