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Parents urge change to city policy on school buses

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The city’s traffic bylaw doesn’t require school bus drivers to use their flashing lights or stop when children are crossing the road, something one local family wants changed. 10 year old Thomas Latus was hit by a pickup after getting off his school bus in Creekside on October 20th. His father Adam Latus says there are no sidewalks or crosswalks by their house, which is in a 30 zone, and doesn’t think the city has done enough to protect students.

“I feel that’s inadequate. You don’t have the reaction time to stop, even at 30 kilometres an hour, with children crossing. Children are unpredictable, especially [those] with special needs. It’s difficult because it’s not just our son; it’s all the children.”

Thomas, who has developmental disabilities, is now in a wheelchair as he’s recovering from two broken bones in his lower leg that required 25 staples, two plates, and 7 pins. The family approached city council with their story, and Thomas’ mother Leeanne Latus hopes to see the Bylaw C-1166 changed.

“A life could be saved just by using the tools that they have on the school bus. We don’t want to give the kids a false sense of security, but we want to tell them that it’s okay; that you’re going to cross your bus, your bus driver is going to protect you until you reach across the street.”

The issue has been forwarded to the community safety committee.
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Looking at other municipalities in Alberta, school bus drivers in the City of Calgary are not allowed to use their flashing lights while unloading passengers unless they’re stopped on a road that doesn’t have curbs on both sides. In Edmonton, flashing lights or a stop arm can only be used on designated highways.

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