After years of public complaints and parents and caregivers voicing concern about school students’ safety, the B.C. Liberal government is going to financially punish motorists who pass a school bus that is stopped, has its flashing lights on and children are getting on and off the bus.
The previous fine of $167, which was one of the lowest in the country, is more than doubling to $368.
Offenders will continue to get three penalty points on top of the increase fine.
A second offence within one year will result in $300 penalty points on top of the $368 fine.
Furthermore, the offending drivers will automatically have their driver’s licences reviewed and these licences could be suspended.
100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall, a former school bus driver, often complained about the recklessness of drivers passing his school bus when the lights were flashing and the students getting on or off his bus.
Between 2009 and 2014 in British Columbia, 1,100 violation tickets were issued by police for drivers who failed to stop for a school bus.
To date, no child has died while getting on or off a school bus, but 14 children have been injured.
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says it is an issue throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin and she gets quite a few complaints about motorist passing stopped school buses.
“Safety is everyone’s concern, and when drivers do not abide by the laws, these measures must be taken to hopefully slow drivers down and obey the law.
“No one wants that knock on the door [and being told] there has been an incident with your child’s bus.”