MANITOULIN – Members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Manitoulin Detachment remind motorists that area students will be back in school on September 3, 2014. The return of students to classes also means the return of school buses. School buses will be traveling on our roadways and will be highly making frequent stops. Having school buses on our roadways is not new, but each driver must be reminded of the very precious cargo on board and no matter what the reason is, our children’s safety comes first.
Motorists must keep a safe distance away from a stopped school bus with the red overhead lights flashing and stop arm extended. When following a school bus, Ontario law requires vehicles to stop 20 meters behind the bus. When meeting a school bus in oncoming traffic, vehicles must stop at a safe distance to allow students to cross well ahead of the school bus stop arm. It is important to remain stopped until the school bus stop arm has been folded in again, and the overhead red lights have stopped flashing.
Drivers who fail to comply with this law face stiff financial penalties of between $400.00 and $2,000.00 and 6 demerit points. A subsequent offence can cost a driver anywhere from $1,000.00 to $4,000.00 in fines plus possible imprisonment. This law also includes that vehicle owners can be charged if their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus.
The solution to avoiding any tragedies with our school buses and students are quite avoidable. By following safe driving practices we can all enjoy our highways without injury or death. We ask that all motorists be part of the solution in keeping our students and drivers safe.