Think of Us on the Bus

Palliser Regional Schools, in partnership with the RCMP, Alberta Sheriffs, Alberta Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, and the Office of Traffic Safety, launched a campaign in 2012-2013 to improve school bus safety for our students, our drivers and the motoring public at large.

The inaugural month-long campaign was supported through a nearly $17,000 grant from the Alberta Traffic Safety Fund. For 2013-2014, financial support was provided through a $5,000 grant from the County of Lethbridge. Having seen the positive benefits of the campaign, Palliser committed to continue the program in 2014-2015 with no outside financial assistance.

The campaign is a multi-pronged awareness and enforcement effort called Think of Us on the Bus.

On this website, we invite you to meet some of the people who drive and ride Palliser buses. We also welcome you to test your bus safety knowledge with quick online quizzes.

In addition to a public awareness campaign on radio and in print, Think of Us on the Bus features student assemblies across the division to talk about bus safety as well as ongoing enforcement support from our partners in the RCMP, Alberta Sheriffs and Alberta Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.

In 2012-2013, Palliser bus drivers reported 77 incidents: 70 of motorists passing the bus when the bus was stopped with its red lights flashing and its stop arm extended.

Thank you for the part you play in keeping students safe!

Penalties for unsafely passing school buses hiked May 1, 2015

A hefty ticket for passing a school bus stopped with its red lights flashing just got even heftier.

Effective May 1, 2015, the fine for passing a school bus with its red lights flashing went up to $544, which includes a victims of crime surcharge that's applied to all such violations. The offence can still carry six demerit points. It previously carried a fine of $402.

Also effective May 1, 2015, the penalty for failing to use caution when the school bus's amber lights are flashing has gone up to $465. Previously that ticket was $345. The amber lights indicate the school bus is preparing to stop so students can get on or off.

In some municipalities, school buses may be prohibited from using their flashing red or amber lights. However, in all rural areas and almost all municipalities served by Palliser bus drivers, the red lights are used to warn motorists that students may be crossing. When encountering a bus with flashing red lights, traffic in both directions must stop and stay stopped until the lights stop flashing red. 

Meet the people who are on our buses and learn more about the rules of the road

Number of fly-bys rise in 2015-2016

For the first time since the launch of Palliser's Think of Us on the Bus safety campaign, the number of fly-bys reported by our school bus drivers rose year-over-year. It's a trend we're hoping will stop in the coming year.

Reports of incidents fall for second year

For a second straight year, bus drivers in Palliser Regional Schools reported fewer incidents of motorists passing buses stopped with their red lights flashing.In 2014-2015, Palliser drivers reported 53 incidents, three fewer than in the previous year, and a whopping 24 fewer than in 2012-2013, when the division started its Think of Us on the Bus safety campaign.

Fewer incidents in 2013-14

The third annual Think of Us on the Bus campaign kicked off on a high note. Palliser drivers reported 27% fewer "fly-by" incidents in 2013-14 than in 2012-13, when the bus safety campaign began. Two years of data also show when the problems are most likely to occur.

KC Marten

A Palliser bus driver faces one of the busiest highways in Palliser, the 845 north of Coaldale.

David Shaw

Palliser's Transportation Services Supervisor reflects on alarming data collected in 2012-2013, the high number of buses being passed when stopped with their red lights flashing, and introduces a new tool to help identify drivers who ignore the rules of the road.

Fernanda Eisler

A Palliser bus driver's precious cargo includes her own kids. For their sake and the sake of all aboard, she urges motorists to give school buses space. Buses are longer than most vehicles, heavy and slow to speed up or slow down.

Veronica Matheson

A veteran bus driver from the Vulcan area explains the rules of the road for drivers approaching school buses that have their amber or red lights flashing.

Taylor Moreau

Meet a southern Alberta mom who had to pull her daughter to safety out of the path of a vehicle as it sped past a school bus stopped with its red lights flashing.

Justice Parrott

A Palliser high school student rides the bus every day and contributed a winning idea to the bus safety campaign.

Shelley West

Shelley West has a quarter-century of experience as a bus driver. She also knows the pain of losing a child to a motor vehicle collision and wants to spare other parents that same heartbreak.

David Warner and Jayne Block

Meet the Alberta Sheriff and the Palliser bus driver on whose bus he travelled during the enforcement blitz on a day a tractor-trailer unit ignored the bus's flashing ambers and passed the flashing reds.

Safety campaign leads to enforcement action

During the 2012 Think of Us on the Bus campaign, 11 traffic violations were cited around Palliser school buses. Not all infactions were related to vehicles passing buses stopped with their red lights flashing. 

Quiz for drivers

Take our 10-question online quiz and put your school bus savvy to the test!

Just for kids!

Here's a quick quiz about what you should do to stay safe while getting on, getting off or riding the school bus.

A 3-minute refresher on school bus safety for kids

Transportation Supervisor David Shaw leads you through a three-minute video recapping the key safety and bus etiquette messages shared with Palliser students.