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School boards to lobby government for cameras on school buses


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/3/2013 (1561 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Brandon School Division is on board with putting traffic cameras on school buses.

At the annual Manitoba School Boards Association convention in Winnipeg, which wrapped up on Saturday, trustees passed a motion to lobby the government to put cameras on school buses.

Cameras could catch drivers who ignore the flashing red lights and "Stop" sign.


Cameras could catch drivers who ignore the flashing red lights and "Stop" sign.

Trustees want to see cameras placed on the exterior of school buses to catch drivers who blast past the flashing red stop sign.

The issue has raised particular concern in the Winnipeg area, however Mark Sefton of the Brandon School Division said there have been instances of neglectful drivers in the Wheat City as well.

"We do have it from time to time, it’s not a regular occurrence as far as I know," Sefton said.

"The heavier the traffic, the less inclined people are to put up with those petty annoyances and are more likely to drive through something like that."

Sefton said the province is generally very quick to respond to resolutions that involve student safety and said it’s a definite possibility buses will be equipped with cameras by September.

"I sure wouldn’t say there’s any guarantee of that, it depends on how things go through the system."

The resolution stated that the Manitoba School Board Association lobby the Province of Manitoba to consider implementing the use of exterior mounted cameras on school buses and provide funding for the related costs.

"There’s a huge, huge safety issue with people driving past school buses even when their flashing red lights are on and the stop sign is sticking out," he said. "That’s such a scary proposition thinking that some student someday is going to get run over because some totally irresponsible driver drove through a stop signal."

This is not the first time the issue has come up in the province.

A pilot project which had cameras on buses in the Seven Oaks School Division, two years ago, caught 70 drivers in a matter of days.

In 2011, the Interlake School Division went ahead with a plan to install cameras on its school buses despite reluctance from the province.

That project involved lobbying the government to change the Highway Traffic Act so drivers caught on the bus-mounted cameras could be ticketed through the photo-enforcement program.

"While we appreciate the intention behind this proposal, the province is not considering an expansion of photo enforcement," read a letter to the division from the government in 2011 in response to a request to allow for the automatic two-demerit enforcement.

The province is set to make a decision on the latest motion in the next six months.

Also included in the slew of resolutions at the conference was a demand from the River East Transcona trustees for the province to allow local trustees the authority to relocate school-based day care centres if schools need the space, which was overwhelmingly rejected.

» gbruce@brandonsun.com


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