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New bus lights make students' ride safer

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

Flin Flon students who rely on buses to get to and from school will enjoy an even safer ride beginning today. Bright white strobe lights now adorn the roof of each Manitoba school bus, making the vehicles more visible to motorists. "I think anything that adds safety for our students traveling on buses is positive," said Superintendent of Schools Blaine Veitch. "We're in a hilly, curvy environment and sometimes visibility is poor and road conditions get a little icy, so if we can help drivers see the buses earlier, then it seems to make sense that we could reduce the risk of an accident." The Manitoba government last year recommended that school divisions use bus strobe lights after conducting a study on their effectiveness. The school board passed information about the lights onto Northern Bus Lines, which provides bus services for Flin Flon students, and the company felt the upgrades made sense. Utilizing money from the province's Pupil Transportation fund, the company had strobe lights installed over the summer on the five buses that transport Flin Flon students. See 'Visibilty' P.# Con't from P.# Owner Reg Hiebert feels it's money well spent. "Under the conditions that make visibility a problem, such as snow and fog, this will go a long way to improving (safety)," he said. "Motorists will be able to see the lights from a distance and know that it's an active school bus, and be prepared that it might be stopping." About six inches in diameter and ten inches high, the lights will be turned on whenever children are aboard the buses. "There are yellow lights for highway equipment and red and blue lights for the RCMP," said Hiebert. "Buses will be the only vehicle that uses a clear strobe light in Manitoba." Hiebert said he expects it will take some time for the public to get used to the new lights. Northern Bus Lines buses used by Saskatchewan students will also feature strobe lights in due time, as that province has also made a recommendation that school buses be equipped with the units.