For the month of September and into October, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers are helping ensure children get to school safely by inspecting hundreds of school buses at locations across the province. School bus inspections are a special priority for transport officers during the back-to-school season. And in general, traffic safety stakeholders focus on school-related issues in September.
They will be examining safety essentials, including steering, brakes, seats, exhaust systems, emergency exits, tires and lighting. Transport officers can issue traffic violation tickets for vehicle or equipment defects, or they can issue a more serious out-of-service violation. Out-of-service means that repairs must be made before the vehicle is allowed to continue.
With children’s safety paramount all year long, not just in September, inspections are also conducted at regular intervals throughout the school year. Also, school buses are required to have a mandatory government Commercial Vehicle Program Inspection (CVIP) every six months.
Drivers can also help keep children safe by using caution when driving through residential areas, obey the speed limits in school and playground zones, and stop when a school bus turns on its alternating flashing red lights. When the amber flashing lights are on, motorists are required to reduce their speed to no more than 60 kilometres per hour as they pass the bus on either side. The penalty for failing to stop for a school bus with its alternating flashing red lights activated is $543 and six demerit points.
As the leaves begin to fall and Alberta’s summer drifts away for another year, road safety remains a priority for Justice and Solicitor General and its traffic safety partners. Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers’ focus will be to ensure children get to school safely.