School bus safety
As millions of Ontario students head back to school, CAA North & East Ontario ( CAANEO) would like to remind everyone to study up on school bus safety. Ontario law requires motorists travelling in both directions to stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing.
Not stopping for a school bus can cost you in more ways than one. For drivers facing a first offence, the fine can be between $ 400 and $ 2,000 and will cost you six demerit points off your licence. For each subsequent offence, the fines range from $ 1,000 to $ 4,000, on top of six demerit points, as well as possible jail time of up to six months.
Also remember that school zones have a speed limit of 40 km/ h. Drivers can lose three demerit points and be forced to pay a fine should they exceed the speed limit by 16-29 km, while racing or going 50 km over the speed limit will get you six demerit points, a suspended licence and a fine of up to $ 10,000.
To help protect children during this back-to-school season, CAANEO urges motorists to
• drive cautiously and within the posted speed limits especially in school zones and residential neighbourhoods;
• be sure to come to a complete stop at all intersections;
• watch for school bus and school zone warning signs;
• watch for CAA School Safety Patroller crossing guards wearing bright green vests at crosswalks. The CAA School Safety Patrol Program has a proud history in Canada and now includes hundreds of schools and thousands of patrollers across the country;
• be aware of the potential for children to dart out from between parked cars, school buses or buildings; and to • always stop for school buses that are loading or unloading. By following these simple and sensible tips, you can do your part in ensuring that all Ontario students make it to school safely!