School bus getting passed while loading/unloading

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Wednesday, May 22 2019

The Gabriola School Bus stopped at South Road and Coats Drive to unload students on Friday, May 17. On the same day, as the bus was stopped at the intersection of Barrett Road and McClay, an SUV was driven past the bus while it was stopped with lights and stop sign activated. Derek Kilbourn photo


Five cars in four days drove past the school bus on Gabriola while it was stopped to let children off the bus. According to bus driver Rick Fleming, this was when the bus was stopped, with red lights flashing, and the stop sign extended from the side of the bus.

Cpl. Jennifer Prunty, Detachment Commander for the Gabriola RCMP, said that passing a school bus while it is picking up or discharging children is an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act. This applies to all lanes of traffic, whether behind the bus or going in the opposite direction. The penalty for passing the bus is a $368 fine and three points on the driver’s licence.

Prunty said that if someone is observed engaged in this dangerous behaviour, to obtain the licence plate number of the vehicle, a description of the driver, and record the date, time, and specific location of the offence.

Then contact the Gabriola RCMP non-emergency number at 250-247-8333. Police will follow up, a violation ticket may be issued if the evidence supports the charge. In this event the witness will be required for court.

Prunty said if a witness to such an event takes photos/video while safely pulled over and off the road themselves at the time; or if someone has dash camera footage of the offence; then a video of the offending vehicle during the offence would be very helpful.