Central Okanagan RCMP issue warning after Oliver school bus incident

Kelowna RCMP say a traffic accident in Oliver that sent a 10-year-old boy to to hospital Tuesday Morning should serve as a warning for motorists to take care around school buses and obey flashing warning lights.

Shortly before 8 a.a. the boy was attempted to cross Highway 97  to board a school bus when he was struck by an SUV. The driver of the SUV did not stop for the flashing warning lights on the bus say police in the south Okanagan town.

The boy was transported to hospital in Penticton with internal injuries as a result of the incident.

RCMP in Kelowna say the incident should be a lesson for motorists here to be cautious and obey school bus and other sign warnings.

Calling the Oliver incident "disturbing," the Kelowna RCMP said for the past several years, police and their community partners have been trying to get motorists to be more aware of the rules of the road in relation to school buses.

In Kelowna , there have been 71 incidents reported to police since September 2011, relating to motorists failing to obey the rules of the road around school buses.

"Please obey the flashing lights on the school bus. The flashing amber lights mean that in a couple of seconds the lights will flash  red and this means the bus is going to stop," said the Kelowna RCMP in a release issued Tuesday.

The flashing red lights mean the Bus is stopped and you are not permitted to pass the bus. Although it is not illegal to pass the bus while the amber lights are flashing, it is not recommended.

"It's too late when an incident occurs. We need drivers to pay attention to the roadways and if there is a school bus around, to anticipate that it might be stopping in a short distance," said the police release.

The fine for failing to stop for a school bus is $173.

But the grief that a person goes through after a crash or a death is priceless, said Const. Tim Monteith of Central Okanagan Traffic Services.

"It's far too popular of an offence in Kelowna, and it's only a matter of time before someone gets seriously injured or killed". Let's do all we can to make sure it doesn't happen."


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