Crystal Schick/Yukon News file Richard Mostyn, minister of highways and public works, speaks at a press conference in 2018. Following two recent collision incidents involving school buses, the minister is saying that fines for failing to stop behind a school bus could increase.

Fines for not stopping behind a school bus could go up: Mostyn

Minister Richard Mostyn appeals to drivers to obey laws after recent crashes involving school buses

Yukon’s minister of highways and public works said fines for failing to stop behind a school bus could increase as part of changes to the territory’s Motor Vehicles Act.

“We are looking at new fines and sanctions as well as best practices from other jurisdictions as part of this work,” Minister Richard Mostyn said Jan. 24

Currently the fine for failing to stop behind a school bus is $200.

In early December, a school bus was hit in Marsh Lake. Another was clipped by a transport truck on Jan. 16, which, as reported by the News, sent a 12-year-old to the hospital as a precaution.

Incidents like these are why at least two parents are calling for heightened RCMP patrols in the area.

Ron Swizdaryk, the regional director of Standard Bus Yukon, British Columbia, the company whose buses were involved in the collisions, had said that the Yukon’s Motor Vehicles Act should be changed to increase fines and demerit points.

The entire act is in the middle of being re-written and modernized, Mostyn said, noting that road safety involving school buses is included.

He called the legislation “antiquated.”

“It’s a very poorly worded act and it needs fixing. It’s needed fixing for a very long time.”

Re-drafting the act is in its early stages. Consultations with stakeholders have yet to take place.

“It’s gonna take about two years to get this process done,” Mostyn said, noting that there won’t be any legislation coming down the pipes before the upcoming sitting.

“This is a people management issue, where people have to start respecting the laws of the land,” he said, referring to crashes involving school buses. “We’re talking about the safety of our children. Nothing’s more important than that.”

Mostyn said fines are disincentives, but happen after a collision has occurred.

In May, the Yukon government raised distracted driving and speeding fines from $250 to $500, Mostyn said, the maximum that’s allowed under the current act.

“I really think, as a society, we need to start obeying the laws of our territory and respect school bus safety,” Mostyn said. “You don’t deke around them, you don’t pass them. You stop. It’s unacceptable. It’s simply unacceptable for people to do that.

“I’m making a public appeal to people to follow and recognize the rules of the road,” he said. “I’m asking Yukoners to slow down, leave earlier for your appointments and respect people on the road, most importantly our children. We want to prevent tragedy.”

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for June 14

Frostbitten big toe finds new home in Dawson City’s infamous cocktail

Nick Griffiths, who ran the Yukon Arctic Ultra in 2018, donated two toes to the Downtown Hotel.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation suspends deputy chief after impaired driving charges

Deputy Chief Cheryl Charlie was charged June 6. Councillor Darius Elias has also been suspended.

Firefighters called to Whitehorse Elementary School over code violations

Door that occasionally wouldn’t open from inside among many issues that need attention, parent says

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Driving with Jens: Keeping pets safe in your vehicle

In my last column I discussed ways to avoid the tragedy which… Continue reading

Yukonomist: Whitehorse Troughbillies

Yukon could take its hot rocks to the bank

ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge spurs mountain bike races in Whitehorse

“I have to remind myself to do that sometimes – just slow down and look around.”

Whitehorse FC Premier U15 boys finish fourth despite injuries and short bench at Slurpee Cup

“They worked super hard and were more hungry for the win than the other team”

2019 Yukon Gymnastics Championships showcase Whitehorse talent

“It was a nice way to end off our season”

U Kon Echelon holds multi-stage Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships

The 2019 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships were held in and around… Continue reading

Cyclists race in the rain at Southern Lakes Yukon GranFondo

‘It was a good number for the conditions’

Most Read