News / Calgary

Councillor wants school buses to use flashing lights at stops

Calgary only allows flashing lights and stop arms on rural roads

School buses in Calgary do not use flashing lights or other safety equipment at most stops, after studies found they do more harm than good.

Metro File

School buses in Calgary do not use flashing lights or other safety equipment at most stops, after studies found they do more harm than good.

Coun. Joe Magliocca doesn’t care what the studies say – he wants city school buses to turn on their flashing lights at stops all over the city.

The Ward 2 councillor is bringing forward a notice of motion at Monday’s council meeting asking administration to amend the current bylaws the prohibit school buses on urban roads from using their flashing lights and stop sign mechanisms.

“There’s already been a couple of kids hit in my area, and we as a city are not doing a good job of protecting the kids,” he said.

Magliocca brought forward a similar motion in 2014, but it didn’t pass at that time.

Metro requested an interview with the city about the issue. While nobody was available to comment, an official did point to the report to council when the issue was raised in 2014.

That report to council suggested looking at a public education campaign around driving, rather than using the safety equipment on buses.

“It has been found that the perceived benefits of using these mechanisms do not outweigh the risks they create for children and road users,” read the report.

The report noted that many other municipalities also prohibit the use of flashing lights and stop arms. The fear is that they encourage children to cross mid-street, instead of at crosswalks, and that they impede the flow of traffic.

Magliocca doesn’t buy that.

“I don’t care,” he said. “I want it done and I want to protect kids. It’s no extra cost. Every school bus has lights on them, and they have a stop arm.”

Nobody at the Calgary Board of Education was available for comment due to summer holidays, and CPS declined to comment on the matter.

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