Province doubles fine for passing school buses with flashing red lights

It’ll cost you a lot more if you’re caught ignoring flashing school bus lights.

Fines for drivers passing school buses with flashing lights in British Columbia are more than doubling to $368.

The increase follows a review of the penalties conducted in March 2016 that found the previous fine of $167 was one of the lowest in Canada and not enough to deter drivers.

The increase in fine amount is designed to discourage drivers from ignoring flashing school bus lights. Drivers will continue to receive three penalty points on top of the increased fine.

According to the province, in British Columbia between 2009 and 2014, 1,100 violation tickets were issued by police for drivers that failed to stop for a school bus. To date, no child has died while getting on or off a school bus; but 14 children were injured.

“Ensuring the safety of children as they get on and off the school bus is part of our efforts to make B.C. roads the safest in North America,” said Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “We will continue to look at new technologies to help deter irresponsible drivers from passing school buses with flashing lights.”

This is the second recent increase in fines for those failing to put safety first.

In March, the province announced higher penalties for distracted driving, increasing the base fine from $167 to $368.