Use cam­eras to catch school-bus scofflaws

Times Colonist - - Comment -

Many ju­ris­dic­tions in North Amer­ica use stop-arm video cam­eras to mon­i­tor vi­o­la­tions of school-bus reg­u­la­tions. Bri­tish Columbia does not.

Stop-arm cam­era footage can iden­tify ve­hi­cles that il­le­gally pass school buses that are dis­play­ing their stop signs and lights. We can as­sume that know­ing such cam­eras are in­stalled acts as a de­ter­rent.

In­stalling stop-arm cam­eras could be done at no net cost to B.C. tax­pay­ers.

Phase One: The gov­ern­ment es­tab­lishes a start-up fund (which will even­tu­ally be re­paid). This money is used to in­stall cam­eras on se­lect buses, to start a pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign about the cam­eras and to place de­cals on all school buses, warn­ing that the pro­gram is in ef­fect all over B.C.

Phase Two: Add a sur­charge to fines for the vi­o­la­tion of any law re­gard­ing school buses, school zones or school cross­walks. Use this money to re­plen­ish and even­tu­ally re­pay the start-up fund.

Phase Three: Use sub­se­quent funds to equip all buses with stop-arm cam­eras and to in­clude them in all new buses. Des­ig­nate any un­used funds for con­tin­ued pro­mo­tion of stu­dent safety and for fu­ture ex­pen­di­tures in trans­porta­tion, school zone and school cross­walk safety.

If you like this idea, share it with your MLA and your lo­cal school board. If money is no ob­sta­cle in the safety of our chil­dren, then there is no ex­cuse when that safety can be had for free. Phil Young Vic­to­ria

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