By Greg Bennett
RCMP Sgt. M.J. Deluco agrees that the statistics are “terrible.”
The Barrington RCMP Detachment commander said a recent school board report that dozens of motorists in the tri-counties passed by school buses that had their red lights activated is disappointing.
What is particularly concerning for her is that the majority of violations happened in western Shelburne County.
At the Tri-County Regional School Board’s May monthly meeting board members were told that between Jan. 6 and April 15 there were 63 cases of red light violations in Digby, Yarmouth and Shelburne counties.
This number breaks down to 13 violations in Yarmouth County, 19 in Digby County and 31 in Shelburne County. The most problematic area, the board was told, is in the Municipality of Barrington, which accounted for 25 of the 31 violations in Shelburne County.
Sgt. Deluco noted that RCMP conducted many proactive school bus patrols with a marked cruiser this year in an effort to combat the problem.
She notes that the number of violations reported by the school board were down from the same period last year. The last half of 2013 saw 35 violations reported in western Shelburne County.
She says the numbers, although dropping, still show a significant problem.
“I’m absolutely not going to sugar-coat it …that’s a terrible number,” she said. “I don’t know if it’s driver inattention or what it is …but those numbers are shocking and disappointing.”
Sgt. Deluco noted charges can be laid against offending motorists if a license plate and a description of the vehicle and the driver is noted.
She also said efforts by detachment officers to follow buses during school routes would continue.