In order to address concerns from bus drivers, the Kamloops-Thompson school district has produced a 30-second public service announcement as part of its #brake4buses campaign.
“It’s a powerful, impactful video,” said Art McDonald,the school district’s director of facilities and transportation.
“We made it to share, to share with each other, to share with other school districts. It’s an important message for all of us who care about the safety of children.”
For Sherry Kristjanson, manager of transportation for the district’s fleet of school buses, the message hits home.
Every day, she said, one of the 80 bus drivers she oversees describes a close call they have experienced.
“Our drivers have seen some scary near misses,” Kristjanson said.
“Sometimes it’s because people are in a hurry or they are not paying attention, but it doesn’t matter what the excuse is. You have to stop when you approach a school bus that has its red lights flashing.”
She noted dozens of motorists fail to stop when a school bus has its flashing red lights on, despite the six-foot swing arm.
The video, which was produced in September by Joy Factory Films, has been posted to the Association of Schools Transportation Services’s home page.
“Drivers failing to stop for the flashing red bus lights is an issue throughout the province,” said association president Robyn Stephenson.
“With nearly 120,000 children riding buses to and from schools in the province, that’s a concern.”
The Kamloops-Thompson school district covers an area of more than 26,000 square kilometres. There are 61 buses logging about 8,200 kilometres transporting children to and from school every day.