Some parents, furious with drivers zooming past school buses, are taking matters into their own hands. They call it "vigilante safety"; standing in the road, stopping cars, while their children safely board the bus.    At the Orleans intersection of Forest Valley and Forestglen, one family is desperate for drivers to obey the law. 

It’s 8:15 a.m. and Rose Mullie is shepherding her children out the door to catch the school bus.

“We’re just going to walk up to the bus,” she tells 8-year-old Sophia and 6-year-old Simon, who are still too young to walk to the school bus alone.  But even when they're old enough, that's not likely going to happen.

“Certainly not at this intersection,” says Rose Mullie, “it's just been too dangerous.”

Every morning, and every afternoon, the kids have to cross Forest Valley Drive, an extremely busy street to catch their school bus. The speed limit is 40 kilometres per hour but the latest speed count by the City of Ottawa shows that more than half the drivers are travelling well beyond that speed; some were even clocked at 70 kilometres per hour. It can be downright frightening crossing that road for an adult, let alone a child.

As the school bus nears, Rose holds on to the children as she tries to cross with them, “Attends, attends,” she yells, as she spies a car rounding the curve, “Okay, they’re stopping.”

"I'm always, in the morning, having to stand in the middle of the street to make sure there are no cars,” says Mullie.

"I have seen cars overtake the stopped school bus when the lights are flashing,” adds parent Angela Clermont.

Fearing for the kids, Rose Mullie's husband took on a vigilante role; standing in the middle of the street to stop the traffic so the children could cross safely.

“Last week, for my husband, that was the last straw, he nearly got hit himself,” says Mullie, “so he filed two police reports.”  Pierre Mullie didn’t have a chance, however, to grab the license plates of the cars passing the school buses.  Under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, it is illegal to fail to stop for a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing.  If you don’t stop, you can be fined $400 to $2,000 and get six demerit points for a first offence.

On Wednesday, the Mullie’s city councilor, Rainer Bloess, came out to see what the city could do to help improve safety. One thought was a three-way stop.  But a broader idea was to install cameras on school bus arms.  Winnipeg has a pilot project underway now that captured video showing car after car streaming right by a school bus with its lights and arm activated. A similar pilot project is in the works for Ottawa this spring.

 "Somebody who's likely to pull around a bus knows if my license plate gets captured, they're less likely to pass a bus,” says councilor Bloess, “That’s a great deterrent.”

A CTV Ottawa camera proved to be a great deterrent as well.  While we were there, every car obeyed the law.

“It was a complete and utter stop, not even halfway through the intersection,” says a surprised Rose Mullie, “You guys should be here every morning.”