Police and the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board are reminding motorists to exercise caution around school buses as they pick up and drop off tomorrow’s future leaders.
Next week is School Bus Safety Week in Cumberland County and police in both Amherst and with the Cumberland RCMP will be holding checkpoints to remind motorists to stop when approaching a school bus that has its red lights engaged.
“We haven’t had any incidents where a child has been hit, but it’s something we have to keep reminding people about,” Const. Tom Wood of the Amherst Police Department said. “Anytime you enter a school zone you should be paying attention to your surroundings and when you see a bus stopped with its red lights flashing you must stop.”
Amherst Police will be conducting checkstops during the week near both West Highlands Elementary and Spring Street Academy as well as E.B. Chandler and ARHS while Const. Michelle Harrison will be doing a ride along with a school bus.
Const. Travise Dow of the Cumberland RCMP said there will be checkpoints near various county schools, adding police are also keeping a close eye on speeding in school zones.
It’s the law in Nova Scotia that all vehicles must stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing. Even though it’s the law, Wood said, there are still times when people don’t stop.
At schools such as ARHS, E.B. Chandler and West Highlands there are designated bus areas at the school, but at Spring Street Academy the bus stops on Spring Street. Wood there are occasions when traffic following the bus stops, but drivers approaching the bus from the other direction don’t always stop.
He said drivers coming in both directions must stop and remain stopped while the red lights are flashing.
Dow said it can also be an issue for students living outside the town on highways where speeds are much higher. Like Wood, he is asking motorists to continue being cautious when around school buses.
Dow said it only takes a moment for disaster to happen. Children, he said, are excited to either start or end their school day and may not always look both ways when crossing the road or getting on a bus.
Studies have shown the most dangerous time for students is when they get on or off the bus.