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Province Imposes Big Fines, Driver’s License Suspension for Illegal School Bus Passing

Drivers who are convicted of illegally passing a stopped school bus in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, will pay a $5,000 penalty as well as lose their license.

According to news reports, those drivers will receive a license suspension for three months, a $5,000 fine and 12 demerit points. The new penalties start next week.

PEI Transportation Minister Paula Biggar noted that those drivers will then be on probation for one year. If they receive additional demerit points within one year of reinstatement their licenses will be suspended.

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There were already 249 comments posted in an article today at the CBC/Radio-Canada website, with roughly nine out of 10 being in favor of the stiffer penalties, and only one out of 10 objected to the additional “police state tactics.”

One person, John S. Harpers, wrote, “With this kind of lunacy I guess we should fine speeders $5,000, failure to stop at a crosswalk $5,000, lesser infractions only $4,000 and of course a three-month suspension and maybe jail time. I would be afraid to pay a visit to PEI as in a police state like this I could accidentally break the law.”

Another person, Herbert Marcuse, stated that “fascist governments are always quick to severely punish citizens.”

And Jordan F. Dorino said, “Way too extreme.”

Meanwhile, Sebastian Leblanc and a number of others commented about a different approach, noting “As if losing their license will prevent offenders from driving. How about seizing their vehicle!”

George Stouten advocated a video solution to the problem of passing motorists: “The school bus needs a dashcam to record people doing this.”

Juergen Hesse said, “Good for P.E.I. As an ex-school bus driver in Ontario, I congratulate P.E.I. With seven years of experience, I have seen it all. Never mind failing to stop for a school bus. I also have been passed several times when stopped at unattended railroad crossings. Using my radio to report these incidents, the response was that we would be wasting our time since no follow-up from the police would happen.”

Nicolaï Michel observed, “For anyone who thinks there isn’t a problem of cars passing school buses, a study this year estimated that it happens 30,000 times PER DAY in Quebec!” But Tarl Cabbot replied by asking, “Are there even that many school buses” in Quebec?

Dan Gullingham concluded, “If the six sets of red flashing lights aren’t enough to alert you that you need to stop, you shouldn’t be on the road. Great move PEI, now bring it across the rest of the country.”

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