Children may have to cross the street to enter or exit a bus and the government has recognized this and taken it seriously. Passing a school bus with the red lights flashing is against the law. It carries a hefty fine: $543 plus 6 demerit points. There is also a $465 fine when passing while the amber lights are flashing for failure to exercise caution.
Working with the Pincher Creek RCMP Detachment Massini has volunteered his time to be the eagle eyes watching and recording when a bus he is travelling on has a flyby. He recognizes the drivers have to be concerned about the bus, driving, and the children. They often do not have the time to write down descriptions of an offending vehicle, driver, or license plate information. First Student Location Manager Sharon Roberts explained, "He is going to randomly ride a bus, any route, any time. Nobody's going to know when, or where." Any charges are to be charged to the registered owner of the vehicle. "We are playing hardball, this year," said Roberts.
Roberts said the most common excuse they hear if they do manage to talk to a driver who has driven past a bus with flashing red lights is, "I didn't see it (The bus or the lights)." According to Roberts there is no specific demographic who is most likely to flyby a bus, it can be anyone behind the steering wheel. Her first concern is with the safety of the children. "In this day and age, people are just in such a hurry."
Other places First Student plans to take their awareness campaign include Tim Hortons and the upcoming Pincher Creek Trade Show.