Posted: December 03, 2018
By Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Starting this weekend, drivers in one Canadian province who illegally pass school buses that have their flashing red lights activated will run the risk of losing their licenses for three months.
The measure, which goes into effect Saturday in Prince Edward Island, came as parents, school bus drivers and others called for increased penalties after several students were nearly struck by vehicles this fall, CBC News reported.
“We all have a role to play in keeping children safe on their way to school,” said Paula Bigger, Prince Edward Island’s minister of transportation, infrastructure and energy. “This change means that drivers who ignore this law are not allowed on Island roads.”
The law ups the penalty for illegally passing a school bus from eight to 12 demerit points, automatically triggering a three-month license suspension, government officials said. Drivers could also face a fine of up to $5,000 CAD ($3,790 USD).
Drivers will be required to meet with highway safety officials, pay a $100 reinstatement fee and take a defensive driving course within six months in order to get their licenses reinstated, officials said.
“No distraction is worth risking the life of a child,” said Jordan Brown, Prince Edward Island’s minister of education, early learning and culture.
Several deadly school bus-related incidents were reported in the United States this fall as well. The incidents spurred someone to post a petition on WhiteHouse.gov calling for a federal bus stop safety law. However, the measure did not get enough signatures to prompt a response from White House officials.
A 7-year-old Maryland girl is in critical condition after she was hit by a pickup truck as she exited a school bus Tuesday, WJLA reported.
Skyla Shirriel, of Bryantown, a student at T.C. Martin Elementary School, was put into a medically induced coma, MIke Walthen, a family friend, told the television station.
The Maryland Independent, citing a news release from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office, reported that witnesses saw the bus activate its flashing red lights and extend its flashing stop sign. Skyla crossed in front of the bus and crossed the southbound lane of the road when she was hit by the truck driven by a 35-year-old woman, according to the release.
“She had started crossing the street. The bus was heading north so she had actually crossed in front of the bus,” Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Diane Richardson told the Independent on Tuesday. “As she was crossing the southbound lanes, she was struck by a driver of a Ford F-250 pickup truck. She had serious injuries. The driver of the pickup truck stayed on the scene.”
Walthen told WJLA that his children were almost hit by the truck, too.
"The other three little boys were pretty shook up. They had a tough time last night," Walthen told the television station. “They just had questions about what happened to her. They all saw it."
Police are still investigating the case, WJLA reported.
A 10-year-old Tennessee boy was hit while boarding a school bus Tuesday morning, WJHL reported.
The accident occurred at 6:35 a.m. in Washington County, WCYB reported.
Authorities said the bus was stopped with its lights flashing and arm extended. The boy was crossing the road when he was struck by a passing car traveling in the opposite direction, WJHL reported. There were other students on board the bus when the child was hit, and they were taken to school, the television station reported.
The child’s condition was unknown, but he was taken to a hospital in Johnson City as a precaution, Washington County School Superintendent Bill Flanary told WJHL. A deputy told the television station the boy was alert and talking while he was being taken to the hospital.
The driver was cited for failure to yield causing injury and failure to stop for a school bus, WCYB reported.
An Ohio school district is taking a drastic step to stop people from speeding through stop signs connected to school buses.
Elgin Local Schools officials decided to pay more than $500 each to equip all buses with stop sign cameras to catch drivers not stopping as kids are getting off and on their school bus, WCMH reported.
Since installing the cameras, 29 people have ignored the stop signs and have been caught.
Bus mechanic Tom Myers came up with the idea for his district after hearing the radio chatter between drivers, alerting others about people ignoring the stop signs, WCMH reported.
“The driver has to know the time of day, location, description of the driver, description of the vehicle and the license plate number,” Myers said of the time before the cameras came to be.
Now, the cameras record all of the information needed, which, along with a report from the bus driver, can be sent to police, who can issue a ticket.
Elgin Local Schools isn’t the only district using technology to catch those drivers who don’t stop.
A 6-year-old child was struck by a car Friday morning while crossing the street to board a school bus in Texas, according to KTVT.
A sedan struck the child before 7:15 a.m. in the 3800 block of Crosslands Road, KTVT reported. Police told the news station that the child’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
Charges against the driver of the sedan were pending Friday as authorities continued to investigate, KTVT reported.
The incident is the latest involving children struck by vehicles while boarding or waiting to board buses. At least five other incidents have been reported nationwide this week.
Three siblings died Tuesday in Indiana when they were struck by a pickup truck while crossing the street to get to a school bus.
One day later, a 9-year-old boy died after being struck by a pickup truck while crossing a street to get to a school bus in Lee County, Mississippi.
On that same day two brothers, an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old, were struck by a vehicle while crossing a street in Louisville to get to a city bus stop, WHAS reported.
On Thursday, a school bus driver in Pennsylvania found a 7-year-old boy dead after an apparent hit-and-run, authorities said.
Five children and two adults were injured Thursday in Tampa, Florida, when a vehicle struck them at a school bus stop.
Five children and two adults were injured Thursday when they were struck by a vehicle while waiting for a school bus in Tampa, according to multiple reports.
The crash happened just after 8 a.m. at the intersection of East Bougainvillea and Marvy avenues, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Witnesses told police that a vehicle was traveling fast on East Bougainvillea Avenue before it hit the seven people as they were waiting for a school bus, WFTS reported. The news station reported the child victims ranged in age from 6 to 12 years old. The adults were 31 and 32 years old, according to WFTS.
The driver stayed at the scene and was interviewed by police after the crash, according to WFLA.
Police Chief Brian Dugan told WFTS that five children and two adults were sent to a hospital for treatment of their injuries after the crash. Two of the children were last listed in serious condition at a hospital, though authorities said they did not believe their injuries were life-threatening, the Times reported.
Authorities continue to investigate.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Sign up below to be added to our mailing list for the latest news, updates, access to exclusive contents, and more!
Take www.kiss104fm.com everywhere you go! Download your app below from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store:
Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!