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School bus collisions in Waterloo Region hit record high

There were 58 bus collisions in the 2017-18 school year, compared to the 40 crashes-per-year average
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School bus
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The number of school bus collisions in Waterloo Region has hit a nine-year high.

There were 58 bus collisions in the 2017-18 school year, compared to the 40 crashes-per-year average for regional school buses.

As the number of crashes reaches a record high, the number of student injuries continues to decline.

The seriousness and frequency of school bus-related student injuries was below average for the 2017-18 school year at just one student injured.

General Manager of Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region, Benoit Bourgault, tells Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS, it is important to remember that there is an extremely low threshold for what's considered a school bus collision.

"You scratch a mirror on the bus, that's a collision. You make contact with something -- that's a collision."

Bourgault says school buses are some of the safest vehicles on the road.

"We use the GPS tracking on all 450 vehicles that we have and we track that. We have the map incorporated in the system that knows what the speed limits are and measures against that."

He says that there are also alcohol level detectors installed inside each bus.

School bus officials are also working on getting cameras installed to catch drivers who speed past school buses.

Bourgault is reminding people to follow all road rules to help reduce the uptick in the number of collisions involving school buses.

"There are people who do not respect the school bus willingly and those are the ones we need to change. The distracted drivers are going to continue to be distracted but the $500 fine is certainly a reminder to put your phone down and look at the road."




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