Kids at risk because drivers ignoring school bus lights
Ross McLaughlin and Lisa Green , CTV Vancouver
Published Monday, January 18, 2016 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Monday, January 18, 2016 8:06PM PST
Kids are in danger because an increasing number of drivers are ignoring school bus warning lights.
Surrey school bus driver, Judy Klapwyk, is so upset by bad behavior on the roads, she mounted her cell phone camera on her bus window. She also reached out to CTV News.
Klapwyk, who works for the Combined Christian School Transportation Association, says the problem is getting worse.
So we decided to go see for ourselves.
Drivers are supposed to slow down when the amber lights on a school bus are flashing and come to a complete stop both in front and behind a school bus when the flashing lights turn red. But we watched as drivers continually ignored Klapwyk’s flashing lights.
Ten-year-old year old Divin, who travels to and from school on Klapwyk’s bus, has had to weave his way through vehicles.
"One time I was walking there, [and ] a car almost hit me and I just ran," Divin told us, "I just look both ways and run."
And there have been tragedies: three years ago a boy was hit in Surrey when a pick-up truck sped by a stopped school bus.
"He was thrown several feet and I think he was knocked unconscious and he was airlifted to hospital," Klapwyk told CTV News.
Fortunately, the child wasn’t seriously hurt.
On our recent visit, we watched as the cars kept blowing by Klapwyk’s bus despite flashing red lights, a stop arm and horn blasts.
“Are you crazy? “There’s a child right there,” a frustrated Klapwyk exclaimed, "You need to stop because the consequences can be so catastrophic."
The RCMP is aware of the problem.
“School buses are carrying our most precious cargo,” Cpl. Ronda McEwen from RCMP Traffic Services told us. "Another message we have is for parents to teach your children that they can't rely on drivers to do the right thing.”
We saw nine different vehicles bypass the flashing school bus warning lights and the stop sign on Klapwyk’s bus in one afternoon. Every day, Klapwyk’s company picks up 900 kids.
Drivers caught disobeying the rules face a $167 ticket and three demerit points on their license – something that didn’t seem to matter on the day that we were there.