The East Algoma Ontario Provincial Police is reminding everyone it is important for drivers to be vigilant and to pay attention to the flashing red lights and other safety equipment used on buses.
The OPP continues to educate the public and to raise awareness about the possible serious consequences of ignoring school bus flashing lights.
“There are a number of different factors that contributed to collisions but the bottom line is that all of them were preventable,” says Inspector Yves Forget, Detachment Commander of the East Algoma OPP. “At certain times of the day, drivers should expect to encounter school buses and the responsibility for our children’s safety relies on both the bus drivers and on the vehicle drivers.”
It is illegal to fail to stop for a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal lights flashing. For a first time offence, you can be fined from $400 to $2,000 and have six demerit points added to your licence. In Ontario, school-bus drivers and other witnesses can report vehicles that have illegally passed a school bus. If you are the vehicle’s registered owner, these same fines may be applied to you.
Drivers, when approaching from the rear of a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing, shall stop at least twenty metres before reaching the bus and shall not proceed until the bus moves or the overhead re signal-lights have stopped flashing. When meeting a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing, shall stop before reaching the bus and not proceed until the bus moves or overhead red signal-lights have stopped flashing. The above law applies on all roads and to all drivers, including bicycles.
School buses are 16 times safer than any other vehicle because of their design and safety features. All bus drivers receive extensive training in order to be qualified to operate them.
The safety of our children is a shared responsibility. Everyone using our roadways needs to exercise vigilance, patience and understanding in order to reach our ultimate goal of getting students to and from school safely all year.