There is no change to the bylaw for the use of the stop arms and flashing lights on school buses in the City of Grande Prairie. Enforcement Services Manager Chris Manuel explains that they continue to look into what kind of safety would be improved by using them.
“In urban areas, to date, we haven’t been able to find any significance that would verify one way or the other. What we are left relying on is what our past experience has been locally and what other communities like Edmonton or Calgary have experienced.”
He adds that crossing mid-block contradicts what they teach kids to do when crossing the street.
“We decided at this point that it just made sense to continue on the path that we are on and continue advocating for kids to use proper crosswalks or school patrol as opposed to stop arms.”
He says the biggest worry that he hears is about the 3 and 4 year olds jolting across the streets but he says the bigger worry should be for the young teenagers. That is who is getting hit by cars the most. Manuel explains that their next task in traffic safety will be geared toward that age group.
In March of 2016 the bylaw was changed to include the use of stop arms and flashing lights on roads with no curbs or sidewalks.
The conversation started this past fall after a 10 year old was hit by a pickup after getting off his school bus in Creekside.