Keep an Eye Out for Students and School Buses
THUNDER BAY – As the 2018-19 school year gets underway, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind motorists that school buses are back on our roads. Motorists should also be aware of the expected increase in pedestrians, and cyclists and give themselves plenty of time to get to their destination.
In accordance with the Highway Traffic Act, motorists encountering a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing shall stop before reaching the bus and shall not proceed until the bus moves or the overhead red signal-lights have stopped flashing. The minimum fine for failing to stop for a school bus is $400 and 6 demerit points. This applies whether you are meeting or following a school bus, and includes multi-lane roads. The only exception is when driving on a road with a median – traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop.
Motorists should also be prepared to yield to student pedestrians and cyclists. Parents of students who will be walking or cycling to school are encouraged to speak with their children about the rules of the road that apply to them.
Drivers are encouraged to:
- Take extra care when driving by parked cars.
- Be aware of school zones and reduce your speed.
- Travel through intersections slowly.
- Be patient as children cross the road.
- Obey crossing guard instructions.
- Make eye contact with the children wanting to cross at the intersection.
- Obey all bus signals and never try to pass when they are stopped.
- Give yourself extra travel time.
When crossing the road, students are encouraged to:
- Look both ways before crossing.
- Be aware of traffic by seeing and listening.
- Walk, don’t run.
- When possible, cross at a location where there is a crossing guard, or with a parent or a buddy.
- When biking, always follow the rules of the road and wear proper safety equipment.