Everyday in Ontario 800,000 children ride a school bus. Staff Sergeant Kevin Webb, Detachment Commander of the Manitoulin Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), would like to take a moment to remind the motoring public of some safety issues and rules of the road.
School buses come in all sizes but all are chrome yellow displaying the words ‘school bus’. You must stop whenever approaching a stopped school bus with its alternating red lights flashing and stop arm extended. When approaching from the front, leave a safe distance between you and the bus. When coming from behind, stop at least 20 metres away. Do not proceed before the red lights stop flashing and the stop arm is retracted.
You must obey these laws regardless of the number of lanes or speed limit on that road. The only exception is if there is a median (physical barrier) in the center of the road and you are approaching the school bus from the front.
Drivers who fail to stop for a school bus are subject to being charged. A driver may receive a fine ranging from $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points.
Remember that these laws are in place to protect our children who are at times easily distracted. Parents should take time to educate their children to be aware of their surroundings when they are on or near school buses.
Staff Sergeant Webb reminds us that “being inattentive can change lives forever”. Manitoulin Detachment members will be patrolling the highways making sure our children get to school safely.