Keyboard Commando – School bus incident highlights need for everyone’s alertness

Mac Olsen

A family in Ontario is very lucky to have their daughter, after she was nearly hit while crossing the street to go home.

The CTV News outlet in Toronto showed a video of the incident, which occurred in Pickering, Ontario at the end of September. The video shows a school bus with its ‘Stop’ sign retracted and the girl walks across the street, after being given the go-ahead by the bus driver.

But as she starts to cross, a passenger vehicle nearly hits her. She manages to jump out of the way just in time, however.

The CTV News report also says, “while the driver should have slowed down, the bus driver may need more training, and (the girl) should have looked both ways before crossing, nothing illegal occurred that afternoon.”

The girl’s mother was very upset about the incident after she saw the video, which came from a neighbour’s home security camera. The girl was scared and cried for a long time because of the incident.

As for the school board’s response:

“With regard to this particular incident, (Durham Student Transportation Services) is working to ensure that all of the students are reminded of bus safety protocols,” a schoolboard spokesperson said.
“Stock Transportation, the school bus operator for the Durham District School Board, said they intend on sharing the incident with their fleet of drivers ‘as a safety reminder.'”

Certainly there is blame to go around. To the bus driver for not following standard procedures. To the driver of the car for not going slowly enough and acting with caution, even though the bus’s ‘Stop’ sign was retracted.

And, certainly, the girl is going to be more cautious about crossing the street. Fortunately, she didn’t suffer injury or death.

Nonetheless, this incident should be a reminder to everyone about just how important it is to act with caution when a school bus is stopped to load and unload students.

This CTV News report isn’t the first one I’ve seen about incidents between passenger cars and school buses. Several months ago, I saw a posting on Facebook about a school bus driver who recorded passenger vehicles speeding passed her bus, even though the ‘Stop’ sign was activated. I find it appalling that some drivers have no regard for the operations of school buses.

When drivers are at fault for not stopping, they should have their licenses revoked and pay stiff fines. If they cause a child’s death, then jail time and a permanent revocation of their licences are in order.

As for school bus drivers in general, the incident in Pickering, Ontario should not be a negative reflection on all them.

I have no doubt that all school bus drivers receive thorough training and place the students’ safety at the forefront every time they go out on their assigned runs. I see it every time I stop for them to load or unload students.

So drivers, please, act with caution around school buses and stop as required. The students’ lives are in your hands.

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