School Bus Safety Week is October 17 – 23, 2021 and we are taking the opportunity to educate not only the students who ride our buses, but also the drivers who share the road with our buses.
We know that student education is critical, and our students participate in exercises throughout the year including evacuation drills and safe loading and unloading practices. We ask parents to remind their children to be extra careful when getting on and off the bus.
Teach them to always obey the bus driver’s directions and watch for traffic from either direction before crossing the road. Statistics show that most fatalities and injuries to school bus riders occurred during loading and unloading.
We are also encouraging students to participate in the ASTAC School Bus Safety Week poster contest. This year’s theme is “Bus Rules Rock!” The deadline is November 7th and details can be found here. A copy of the entry form has also been shared with all our schools.
It is the responsibility of all motorists to know the laws and drive with extra caution when approaching a school bus from either direction.
- The school bus driver will first signal to motorists that the bus will soon be coming to a stop to load or unload children by activating the overhead alternating AMBER lights.
- When the bus stops and the driver opens the door, the overhead alternating RED lights and side stop arm are activated. This means only one thing — the bus is loading or unloading children.
- Passing the bus when children are loading or unloading is dangerous, illegal and could be deadly.
Know the laws
Failure to understand the laws is no excuse. There are several laws in place to help protect our students including:
- When a school bus is stopped and the overhead alternating red lights have been activated, traffic from both directions must come to a complete stop and remain stopped until the red lights have been deactivated.
- It is illegal to pass a school bus when the red lights are flashing. This is called a fly-by and the fine is $543 and six demerit points.
- Often times a fly-by is the result of distracted driving – read more about Distracted Driving, including the penalties at: https://www.alberta.ca/distracted-driving.aspx
If you witness a fly-by, please report it, either to police or call the Transportation office at 780.674.8510. The more information you have the better, including a description of the vehicle involved (year, make, model, and license plate if possible), bus number, time of day, location, etc.
Let’s all do our part to keep our students and drivers safe!