WINNIPEG – Manitoba kids are more at risk from drivers who don’t stop for school buses than kids in other Prairie provinces.
A study by the Winnipeg-based company Teknisult is currently under way, with ten camera-equipped school buses in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
So far the cameras have caught vehicles zooming past stopped school buses at an average rate of 5 times per bus per week in Manitoba compared to 1.8 times in the other provinces.
One camera-equipped bus in Winnipeg recorded vehicles blowing past the lighted stop sign 13 times in 4 days last week, says Maurice Gregoire of Teknisult.
“We want to change the drivers’ mindset,” says Gregoire, and only four weeks into the 90-day project things are already changing. The rate of violations per week gradually dropped as drivers were informed by police that they had been caught on camera breaking the law.
Teknisult collects the data from the bus cameras, puts it DVDs that are given to the relevant school division who then pass the information along to police. Using the image of the vehicle’s license plate number, officers pay a visit to the registered owner’s home to deliver a warning or a ticket as they see fit.
Manitoba Highway Traffic Act Section 137(5)
Where a school bus is stopped on a highway, if a lamp or other warning device is operating thereon, or displayed therefrom, as required by subsection (4), the driver of a motor vehicle approaching the school bus from any direction shall bring the motor vehicle to a stop not less than 5 metres from the school bus before passing it, and he shall not proceed unless the school bus resumes motion, or the driver thereof signals him to proceed or ceases to operate or display the lamp or other warning device to which reference is made in subsection (4).