School bus cameras designed to catch drivers illegally passing
Teknisult has designed cameras for the front and side of school buses to catch drivers who speed past while their stop signs are flashing.
Michael Shulman, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Friday, November 21, 2014 10:54PM EST
A Winnipeg company is hoping its mounted cameras will deter drivers from blowing past school buses when their stop signs are flashing.
Teknisult has specifically designed cameras for the front and sides of a school bus in order to catch drivers in the act, and record their licence plate information. So far, a pilot project has seen the cameras installed on 10 school buses in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
The project has been up and running for nearly five weeks, and, in Winnipeg alone, roughly 80 violations have been recorded. Buses in Manitoba are seeing an average of five incidents per week, while Alberta and Saskatchewan are averaging 1.8.
Maurice Gregoire, the president of and lead product designer at Teknisult, told CTV Winnipeg that school boards are interested in adopting the cameras.
"There's a lot demand from the school divisions for a solution like this, and, more importantly, a cost effective solution," he said. "And this is what we've come up with."
Teknisult will install three cameras and provide the software for a bus at the cost of $1,500.
Danny Davis, a Winnipeg school bus driver, says he sees drivers pass his stop sign every day. He says he supports the cameras, if they will keep drivers in his rear-view mirror.
"If that stops people, then it is worth all the money and effort to do it," he said.
Despite facing hefty fines -- up to $673 in Manitoba, $402 in Alberta and $335 in Saskatchewan --- Davis says drivers often ignore stop signs.
"What I have noticed is a lot of people want to crawl through, thinking that 'If I go slow enough it won’t be dangerous,'" he said. "But of course it can be, because kids can come from anywhere."
In Winnipeg, 37 drivers have been charged with passing a stopped school bus over the past two years.
A city police officer says the cameras alone could not be used to penalize drivers.
"It certainly wouldn't be used in and of itself, said Patrol Sgt. Damian Turner. "It would have to be used in conjunction with a statement from a school bus driver or a witness."
Teknisult hopes to issue a full report on its findings in January.
With a report by CTV’s Jill Macyshon in Winnipeg