School bus drivers in the Bulkley Valley are losing patience against a minority of the motoring public who consistently ignore the flashing lights.
As roads turn white with snow, the need for drivers to pay attention is growing. The issue has gotten bad enough that the RCMP have issued a note to the community asking drivers to be a more careful.
“Police will be increasing enforcement both in school zones and bus routes,” said Cst. Hank Timmerman in an RCMP media release.
This is reaction to “numerous complaints” from local schools, bus drivers and concerned parents that drivers are ignoring school bus’ flashing lights and stop signs.
Ebenezer school bus driver Fiena Dykstra does the route from Houston. She sees the the problem often. Her highway stop near Buck Flats Road in Houston is the worst and she sees people pass her bus every single day.
She said that despite the fact that cars can pass a bus when the amber lights are flashing, an attentive driver is likely to see a driveway with children standing by it and decide not to risk a potential hit.
Fellow driver Jantina Meints said it’s an ongoing issue, and people are known to actually speed up to pass a bus when its lights flash.
“Seventy-five per cent of them are talking on cell phones,” she said.
At one of her highway stops, students nearly crossed in front of a car that did not stop, she said, adding that students may not look up because they expect drivers to stop.
So far there have been no accidents but she knows it’s an issue among other drivers.