Editorial: School bus stop sign flashes for a reason

Of all the liberties drivers take, is there anything worse than passing a school bus with a flashing stop sign extended?

Basic rules of the road everyone learned as a new driver should never be ignored, including pulling over for ambulances and stopping for school buses, regardless of the direction the big yellow vehicle is headed. Whether a driving test was taken a year ago, 10 years ago or 40 years ago, those rules should stick with the person behind the wheel. If not, then a flashing stop sign should suffice to remind the driver of the possible danger ahead.

Based on recent reports from Powell River RCMP and School District 47, not everyone is following the rules when it comes to sharing the road with school buses. Is it due to forgetfulness, ignorance or arrogance?

Everyone has those moments of not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, pulling a U-turn at an inappropriate location or not following the arrows properly when entering or leaving a parking lot. Those seemingly innocent infractions can still lead to a fine, or worse, an accident. While, “I was in a hurry,” might garner a sympathetic reaction in those cases, ignoring the law when it comes to children entering and exiting their mode of transport to and from school is a dangerous practice for anyone with a licence.

Here is little advice for those already charged or currently under investigation by Powell River RCMP: Whatever your excuse is for passing a stopped school bus, it will not matter to anyone if a student steps in front of your vehicle on the way by.

“I’m in a hurry,” will not cut it. You had better come up with something better than that.

Unless you have someone in dire need of medical attention in your back seat and passing a stopped bus is necessary to save their life, you will receive no sympathy from anyone in regard to a violation ticket or worse, an accident.

To those who have not been caught, yet, it is only a matter of time. Nine SD47 buses are now equipped with cameras. The drivers are watching, and someone is watching the tapes. A deterrent should not be necessary when rules are already in place and common sense should bubble to the surface. Perhaps considering whether or not that bus you are about to slip by, because you are late for work or an all-important appointment, is one of those nine may make you think twice.

If you do decide to take the chance with one of those nine buses, your pocket book will feel the effect. And you won’t be on Candid Camera.

Copyright © Powell River Peak

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