Once again it is time for students to head back to school and for motorists to be on the lookout for school buses and students.
Many children walk to school and motorists should also be aware of the increased pedestrian traffic as children make their way to school. Many may be distracted for the first day of class. Slowdown near schools and be extra cautious.
Every driver, approaching from both directions towards a school bus with overhead red signal-lights flashing, must stop and shall not proceed until the bus moves or the overhead red signal-lights have stopped flashing (except on highways separated by a median strip, whereby oncoming traffic is not required to stop). Also, school buses are required by law to stop at all railway crossings; motorists should likewise be prepared to stop behind school buses. Failing to stop for the school bus could result in a fine of $495 and 6 demerit points.
There are a few steps motorists can take to ensure that children reach their destination safely.
- Abide by the school bus traffic safety traffic laws
- Watch for children running to catch their bus
- Respect the crossing guards and slow down in school zones
- When turning at intersections, watch for students and crossing guards using the crosswalks
- Teach your own children about safe conduct on roadways and on school buses
Remember children may not always be paying attention. Be extra cautious during the hours before and after school. And remember road safety begins with you.