As a way to avoid any more tragic deaths and accidents involving children and school buses, officials have decided to put their foot down in regards to school bus traffic stop laws. A Canadian province is taking concrete action, to deter people from trying to pass stopped school buses.
The province of Prince Edward Island, located in eastern Canada, has added a new measure that will temporality strip drivers of their license if they illegally pass a school bus. The measure was a response to the number of recent deaths and injuries that have occurred in the United States.
At least five crashes along the nation have been reported in the first week of November, alone. Many of the accidents are the result of these drivers going around stopped buses that have their lights on and a “stop” sign arm on display.
Back in October, 24-year-old Alyssa Shepherd killed three young siblings and seriously injured an 11-year-old boy, going past a school bus in Indiana. Shepherd was charged with three counts of reckless homicide after the children were crossing a two-lane state highway to board the bus near Rochester. Other similar incidents occurred in Florida, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
The new law states that drivers who fail to stop for a school bus when its lights are flashing will have a three-month license suspension and be fined up to $5,000. The province already had the highest fines in Canada for failing to stop, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
According to the new law, commercial drivers would have to meet with the highway safety officials, pay a reinstatement fee of $100, take a defensive driving course, and a knowledge test before getting their license reinstated. Drivers would then be on a one-year probation where any additional offenses could lead them to lose their license again.
Prince Edward Island previously installed cameras on many school buses to capture the license plates information of a motor vehicle that illegally passes the bus. This is certainly a step forward, reassuring the safety of children to avoid any more tragic deaths. In the U.S. every state has a law making it illegal to pass a school bus with its red lights flashing and arm extended, but motorists illegally passing anyway remains a big safety issue.
Should this new law also be in the United States? What do you think? I vote yes.