Martina, a young Chilliwack student, gets off the bus on a busy route that often sees drivers speeding past school buses after the flashing lights and stop sign are engaged. MLA Laurie Throness says he will be looking for more measures to protect children on their way to and from school, after seeing a video of a scary incident taken by Martina’s mother. (Submitted)

Chilliwack MLA moved to action by disturbing traffic video

Throness to lobby for safety measures for school kids after viewing Chilliwack mother’s video footage

A video caught by a Chilliwack family’s security camera is highlighting how reckless drivers are putting school kids in danger.

Agatha Kerkhoff saw the video and retaped it with her phone, to zoom in on the details. She shared it with her MLA in Chilliwack-Kent, Laurie Throness, and he was so troubled by it, he’s been moved to take action to make the roads safer.

The video is shocking — for anyone who hasn’t already witnessed this kind of recklessness countless times.

The school bus pulls up in front of the Yale Road home at about 12:40 p.m. The bus driver lowers the stop sign and engages the flashing lights. But it’s not enough to stop a car speed past in the opposite direction.

Just seconds after the car speeds by, little Martina is off the bus, crossing Yale Road, and skipping down her driveway.

The Kerkhoffs have three young children, and are concerned with the cars that constantly speed by school buses, even when the signs are out.

Throness says the Kerkhoffs’ video “presents a disturbing scenario,” and that he intends to do something about it.

“There are several things I am going to investigate as MLA,” he says, including lobbying for more police enforcement, and increasing public awareness through the Speed Watch program.

He would also like to see a pilot program for a ‘drop arm’ that extends further out from the bus than the present stop signs do, and is even looking into the appropriateness of a private member’s bill.

Throness reached out to The Progress, with the Kerkhoff family’s permission, to share the video and remind drivers that school buses are carrying precious cargo.

“You might want to assist with the public awareness piece,” he wrote. “That would let people know that oncoming traffic must stop for a school bus when the stop sign is out.”

He also took to his own Facebook page this week to remind drivers that even as the school year is ending, it’s important to remain vigilant and watch for school buses stopping.

“Even though school’s almost out for the summer, let’s remember to stop for school buses when their signs are out – whether you’re following or approaching the bus in your car you are required to stop. Let’s keep our kids safe – and avoid a $368 fine!” he wrote.


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