COALDALE - RCMP are giving fair warning to motorists who are ignoring the law and not stopping for school buses that have flashing red lights activated.
It is part of a disturbing trend, in which Palliser Regional School bus drivers saw a significant increase in motorists passing them unsafely and illegally 74 times in the 2016-2017 school year.
Since the beginning of this school year, Coaldale RCMP have received seven complaints in their region alone, of motorists passing school buses when the buses are stopped with the red flashing lights activated.
Officers are now following up with charges under the Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation.
Many school buses are now equipped with cameras to record vehicles that pass when the red flashing lights are activated.
Coaldale RCMP Staff Sergeant Glenn Henry comments, "The safety of our children riding school buses is paramount. There will be a zero tolerance for putting our children at risk."
Of the seven complaints, three incidents have occurred within the Town of Coaldale and four incidents occurred on rural roads. Under Section 72(1) of the Use of Highways and Rules of the Road Regulations the offence for passing a school bus with red flashing lights activated is $543.00.
Registered drivers are expected to know and abide by the rules of the road. As a reminder, the following is an excerpt from the Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation:
Alternately flashing red lights - 72(1) Where a school bus is operating alternately flashing red lamps, a person driving a vehicle that is approaching the school bus shall,
(a) when approaching the school bus from the rear, if the school bus is on a highway that is divided by a median into 2 separate roadways, or
(b) when approaching the school bus from the front or rear, if the school bus is on a highway that is not divided by a median into 2 separate roadways,
Stop the approaching vehicle before it reaches the school bus - 72 (2) After stopping an approaching vehicle pursuant to subsection (1), the person driving the vehicle shall not proceed to drive the vehicle past the school bus until
(a) the driver of the school bus indicates by a signal that the vehicle may proceed, or
(b) the alternately flashing red lamps on the school bus stop flashing.
Members of the public are encouraged to report any traffic offences to the Coaldale RCMP Detachments at either 403-329-5080 (Rural Detachment) or 403-345-5552 (Municipal Detachment).
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