To help combat what officials at School District 79 are calling the “disturbing tend” of “motorists disregarding school bus stop signs and putting our learners at risk,” South Cowichan Community Policing has donated 11 dashboard cameras for south-end school buses.
The number of incidents is staggering.
Over the course of 18 operational school days in November, bus drivers have reported 42 occasions where motorists have disregarded school bus stop signs. That’s an average of at least two a day within the district.
“We are very grateful to the South Cowichan Community Policing Advisory Society for this wonderful gift,” said Candace Spilsbury, Chair of the Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District. “Ensuring the safety of our learners is a community responsibility, and we are so glad that the Society heard this call and acted so quickly.”
The cameras will be installed on the south-end buses for use in the new year.
When South Cowichan Community Policing volunteers heard from community members about their school bus concerns, they set out to raise the funds they needed to buy the dash cams. The aim is to help provide RCMP with the evidence required to identify and ticket the offending drivers.
“These cameras will support our bus drivers to deal with impatient drivers who continue to put our learners at risk,” said SD79 superintendent, Robyn Gray. “We take the safety of our learners very seriously, and we welcome community partnerships like this that continue to enhance their safety.”