Drivers give police poor excuses for passing stopped school buses

Pierre Ranger, the chair of the Let’s Remember Adam billboard campaign, says people who are caught passing a stopped school bus with its stop arm extended and lights flashing, give the police a wide range of excuses.

Ranger is the older brother of Adam Ranger, the five-year-old Mattawa boy who was struck and killed February 11th, 2000 while getting off a school bus in front of his home.

This is the 19th anniversary of the youngster’s death.

Pierre Ranger says none of the reasons people give police make sense and there are two of them that stand out.

The first, he says, is people “literally feel they don’t have time to stop”.

Ranger says people figure if they wait for the school bus to let students on and off the bus, they’re going to be late getting where they have to be.

He says another poor excuse is the driver claims he or she was distracted.

“They say they didn’t even know the school bus was there,” Ranger says.

“Well if you didn’t notice the school bus was there, how are you going to see a small child crossing the road in front of the school bus”?

Ranger has been lobbying to have cameras installed on the stop arm of school buses which would photograph vehicles that pass the stopped bus.

He’s also suggesting a change to the eight light system on Ontario school buses.

Currently school buses have four red lights on the front and four on the back which begin flashing when the bus is coming to a stop.

Ranger says other Canadian provinces have a slightly different version of the eight light system.

He says in other provinces the front of the vehicle is equipped with two amber lights and two red lights and the rear has the same setup.

“So when the amber lights start flashing it’s a warning that the bus is about to stop and when the red lights come on, it means you have to stop,” Ranger said.

He says the lighting is similar to traffic lights which give approaching motorists advance notice that the light is about to go red

The website www.letsrememberadam.org has information on how the public can help lobby to have the stop arm cameras become a reality.