Bus Accidents on the Rise

Local School Districts have launched a new bus safety campaign.

District 83 Superintendent Peter Jory explains why, saying "In the last 14 months we've had six of our buses struck by motor vehicles - two of them while in motion and four of them while at rest or parked."

The North Okanagan Shuswap School District says that this January alone saw 32 drivers pass buses flashing red lights in just 19 days.

"When the bus is stopped, those lights come on, and the stop signs come out.. we need our drivers around that bus to stop as well" says Jory.

SD83 Transportation Manager Andrea Kathrein says that goes for both sides of the road "Quite often those bus drivers are crossing students to the other side of the road, so we need motorists on both sides to be aware and stop their vehicles." She says that passing a stopped bus with its lights on could end with you on camera "We actually have three buses with outside cameras that help us catch those red light runners."  Kathrein says that another dozen of their buses could also soon have cameras.

Vernon School District Transportation Services Manager, Robyn Stephenson says the awareness campaign is necessary because people not stopping for the red flashing lights happens almost daily in the Vernon School District.  She says the fine is $368 and 3 demerit points.