No change recommended to school bus flashing lights policy in Calgary
The community services committee is recommending Calgary city council put a red light to a push by Councillor Joe Magliocca to force school buses to use flashing red lights and stop arms when students get off a bus.
Prompted by calls from concerned parents, Magliocca asked administration to review the policy of prohibiting the use of flashing red lights and stop arms on yellow school buses.
“You know two people in my area just got clipped by a car coming off a school bus in the last three years in my area” said the Ward 2 councillor.
After talking with school boards, bus companies and police administration said, in a report to the committee, that there’s no need to move to a practice that is only used in rural areas. The provincial government in 1986 put an end to the practice in urban areas with the main reasons being that there are many safe crossings at marked crosswalks and intersections.
“We feel that our current approach has contributed to a safer environment in Calgary,” traffic safety lead Tony Churchill said. “We have been partnering with school boards, bussing companies, Calgary Police Service and others such as the AMA to educate students and parents which have contributed to our good safety record.
Statistics show that there have been five “incidents” and no fatalities in the last 30 years.
The report also said that many other provinces and U.S. states do require buses to always use flashing lights and stop arms when children are boarding or leaving the vehicle. Drivers are required to stop in both directions of traffic when flashing lights are activated, however reports of motorists that fail to stop for these warning lights are common.
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