Drivers who ignore school bus warning lights will soon have less of a chance to get away with their behaviour as the school board is considering adding cameras on all buses in the district.
At Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, trustees will consider a recommendation to request the installation of cameras inside and outside on every school bus to protect students from “red-light runners.”
Of the 51 school buses in Chilliwack, only 13 have cameras at the front of the bus that record both outside and inside, according to district staff.
A further 12 buses have cameras on the inside only, and 26 buses have no cameras at all.
The rationale for the recommendation put forth by Trustee Darrell Furgason to be decided upon at the Nov. 26 meeting is: “[School District 33] students should be protected from ‘red-light runners’ when entering or leaving a school bus. Installing more modern cameras on every school bus will help identify drivers who are endangering SD33 students with their unsafe driving habits.”
Drivers who ignore school bus flashing red lights are subject to fines of $368 even if they are not pulled over by police who witness the infraction. If caught on cameras, or reported by bus drivers or other motorists, violators can get a fine in the mail.
“Failing to stop for school buses is reckless and places students and other motorists in needless danger,” said RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail earlier this year. “RCMP remain committed to keeping our roadways safe for the travelling public.”
RCMP urge anyone who witnesses erratic or reckless driving behaviour on our roadways to contact the Chilliwack RCMP at 604-792-4611 or, to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).