Tuesday, August 30, 2016

School Bus Safety

Caledon, ON (OPP - Caledon Detachment) With school just about to begin, we will soon be seeing school buses on the roadways in the Caledon area. Through the summer, drivers sometimes become distracted and complacent. Extra precautionary measures should be taken when sharing the road with a school bus. Please be mindful of school bus safety always.


The Caledon OPP would like to remind drivers the rules of the road where school buses are concerned and to make sure you know the rules and help keep our school children safe.

DRIVER RULES:

Stopped school bus with alternating red lights flashing
  • Drivers travelling in both directions must stop for a stopped school bus with its upper alternating red lights flashing.
  • When you approach the bus from the front, stop at a safe distance to let children get on or off the school bus and cross the road.
  • If you are coming from behind the bus, stop at least 20 meters away.
  • Do not go until the bus moves or the lights have stopped flashing or the bus begins to move.


As well as the upper alternating red flashing lights, school buses use a stop sign arm on the driver’s side of the bus. This arm, a standard stop sign with alternating flashing red lights at top and bottom, swings out after the upper alternating red lights begin to flash. Remain stopped until the arm folds away and all lights stop flashing.


FINES:

Drivers can be charged if they pass a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing:

First offence: $400 to $2000 and 6 demerit points.
Second offence (within 5 years): $1000 to $4000, 6 demerit points and possible jail time (up to 6 months).

In Ontario, school bus drivers and other witnesses can report vehicles that have passed a school bus. The vehicle’s registered owner (even if they were not driving), can have the fines applied to him/her.

REPORT DRIVERS THAT DON’T STOP

You can report a vehicle that doesn’t stop properly for a school bus to police immediately by calling 911.

  • Record the date and time of the incident
  • The vehicle’s make, model, colour and licence number.
  • Who was driving?
  • Was the bus a “chrome yellow” school bus with the words “School Bus” at the front and rear of the bus?
  • What was the name of bus company and bus number?
  • Was it a small or large school bus?
  • Was the school bus stopped?
  • Were the upper red lights flashing and was the stop arm out?
  • Were he passengers boarding or leaving the school bus?
  • Did the vehicle pass the school bus from behind or was it coming toward the bus in the opposite lane?

The Caledon Detachment continues to work closely with school bus operators and their drivers to ensure the safety of the passengers.

For more information, please refer to the Ministry of Transportation website www.mto.gov.on.ca