Beginning Monday, March 21, 2022, drivers in the Hebbville area will notice a new feature on bus route 245. In an effort to reduce red light violations and increase student safety, SSRCE is piloting an extended stop arm.
The new extended stop arm extends out from the school bus to a total of 2 metres and includes two stop signs. Both stop signs will illuminate when the arm is extended and the bus is stopped. Currently, buses are equipped with standard stop arms, extending just two feet with one stop sign.
“Everyone has a role to play in keeping our students safe,” says Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Becky Druhan. “We are focused on providing safe and secure environments for our children. We commend this initiative and look forward to the results of the extended stop arm pilot.”
The new stop arm will extend into the oncoming lane of traffic and will be more visible to motorists. If a vehicle hits the stop arm, it is designed to break away, likely causing damage to the vehicle but keeping the child safe.
“Although it is illegal to pass a school bus with its light flashing, we still have several violations each year,” says Denise Crouse, Transportation Coordinator SSRCE. “The intention of this pilot is to decrease those numbers, increase driver awareness of the importance of stopping when the stop arm is extended, and in turn improve student safety.”
Crouse says the SSRCE Transportation Department will compare the number of red light violations with the extended stop arm to previous data with the regular sign. Findings will be used to inform new safety procedures.
It is illegal to pass a school bus with its light flashing as it poses an extreme danger to students who are boarding or getting off a school bus. All motorists (both in front and behind the bus) and in all lanes of traffic must stop when the school bus has its red flashing lights on. In Nova Scotia, a red light violation can result in a fine of $410 and six points on your license.