If you are one of those drivers who passes a school bus with its arm down, be prepared to be caught on camera. Exterior video cameras are coming to school buses around the division.
"We've always had surveillance cameras on school buses," explained Andy Dobson, Manager of Facilities and Transportation with the Southeast Cornerstone School Division. "However, they've been predominantly on the interior."
"The cameras have evolved and now they have exterior cameras that will clearly indicate anyone going through a stop sign. When the bus stops and they have their stop arm out, if someone goes through it, these cameras will pick up the license plate."
Dobson added that they have already had a case in Weyburn where a driver passed a bus with the arm down. That footage was isolated and sent to the City Police.
"You wouldn't believe how much it happens. I get notified by the drivers all the time about people ignoring the stop arms are just going through thinking they can safely go around the bus. As everyone knows, it's illegal and it has a hefty fine to it and you lose points."
He shared that not all students pay as much attention as they should and can often dart into traffic. The stop arm makes sure that the traffic has stopped so the children will be safe if they decide they need to cross the street.
"It's added protection to our drivers and to the students themselves."
The cameras will only be outfitted on city buses, not rural buses.
"We talked about putting them in some of our rural routes and what we've heard from other school divisions is that they're not reliable with the dust and the dirt that most of the time obscures those cameras. So we're just going to go with them in the cities of Weyburn and Estevan. That's where we have most of our infractions."
The school division is still waiting on a few more cameras but by next year, all Weyburn and Estevan city buses will have exterior surveillance cameras.