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School Bus Safety Concerns

By Adam Riley Oct 13, 2022 | 2:28 PM

The issue of city drivers passing school buses when they’ve deployed their stop arms is growing worse.

In 2021 there were a total of 658 incidents of vehicles passing school buses while stopped with lights flashing, which averages to four incidents per day. So far this school year the number of incidents has doubled, with 212 incidents so far or eight per day.

With numbers doubling already over last year, it’s become apparent that police need to be more vigilant on curbing driver’s behavior.

“School bus drivers can capture information we can follow up and lay charges after the fact as well which is good,” says Thunder Bay Police Acting Sergeant Tom Armstrong, “so that’s things we’re kind of working on and now we’re realizing how much of an issue it is we can pay more attention to it.”

Another option available is the installation of cameras on buses to catch drivers in the act, if the bus driver is unable to get that information at the time. But according to Student Transportation Services of Thunder Bay Consortium Manager Craig Murphy there are still some bureaucratic hurdles to cross at the local level before that can happen.

“The Highway Traffic Act has been changed to permit school bus cameras, the regulations have been written to allow the processing of those camera images,” explains Murphy. “so its really down to the municipality. The provincial government does require municipalities to implement stop arm cameras, its not something the school bus companies or school boards can do.”

Murphy says the bus service providers, the school boards and Student Transportation Services all came together collectively to say to the City of Thunder Bay “We want this, we need this, this is an issue, we need to protect the children of our community.”

A report is due before city council on the implementation of stop arm cameras in December.


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