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“It hap­pens at least four times a week.”

That’s what Re­nee Yuill out­li­ned du­ring a recent phone in­ter­view. As the ma­na­ger of Rockland’s Ti­ny Hop­pers day­care on Lau­rier Street, she wit­nesses first hand how some dri­vers flat­ly ignore the fla­shing red stop si­gn of school buses.

“There are four lanes on that stretch of road,” she ex­plai­ned. “I see some dri­vers pass through them whe­ne­ver the buses have their si­gn out. I’ve al­so seen some dri­vers who were be­hind the bus just pass them.”

Yuill has contac­ted the On­ta­rio Pro­vin­cial Po­lice (OPP) in the past, which has led to se­ve­ral ti­ckets being han­ded out.

Yet it seems to not have had too much ef­fect. “They still do it,” she said. “It’s very dan­ge­rous.”

Al­though the day­care staff can’t do any­thing to stop dri­vers from prac­ti­sing such a dan­ge­rous ac­tion, the wo­man stres­sed that the on­ly thing they can do is teach the chil­dren under their care about road sa­fe­ty. " We tell them to be ex­tra di­li­gent when com

- ing close to the road,” she ad­ded.

Lu­cki­ly enough, the chil­dren that do board the bus from the day­care don’t have to cross the road, as the bus picks them up on the same side of the ins­ti­tu­tion.

The threat is ta­ken very se­rious­ly, ac­cor­ding to OPP Com­mu­ni­ty Sa­fe­ty Of­fi­cer Cyn­thia Sa­vard. “It’s our kids that are on those buses,” She ex­plai­ned du­ring a phone in­ter­view. "We have re­vi­sed our plan of ac­tion to ta­ckle the mat­ter.”

These plans in­clude mo­di­fying bus routes as well as ha­ving more po­lice pre­sence around known pro­ble­ma­tic areas. "We've contac­ted school bus ser­vices," Sa­var said. "Now it's a mem­ber of spea­king with bus dri­vers.”

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.

He 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 six de­me­rit points. This ap­plies whe­ther mo­to­rists 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.

—pho­to Fran­cis Ra­cine

Cer­tains ci­toyens de Rockland disent consta­ter que des au­to­mo­bi­listes ignorent fré­quem­ment les feux cli­gno­tants des au­to­bus sco­laires.

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