Stopping for School Buses

Stopping for School Buses is the law
Stopping for School Buses is the law

Stopping for School Buses is the law.  It’s back to school time, and on Tuesday, September 8th,  school children in Ontario will be in school bus stop areas in the early morning hours and, in some cases, before daylight. When a school bus has stopped and activated its flashing red lights, all vehicles travelling behind or approaching the bus must come to a complete stop before reaching the bus.

It is illegal to fail to stop for a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing. If you don’t stop, you can be fined $400 to $2,000 and get six demerit points for a first offence. If you are convicted a second time within five years, the penalty is a fine of $1,000 to $4,000 and six demerit points. You could also go to jail for up to six months. This is a fast track to the world of high risk auto insurance with your insurance company!

When approaching the bus from the front, stop at a safe distance for children to get off the bus and cross the road in front of you. If you are coming from behind the bus, stop at least 20 metres away. Do not go until the bus moves or the lights have stopped flashing.

If you are on a road with a median strip, only vehicles coming from behind the bus must stop. (A median is a physical barrier such as a raised, lowered, earth or paved strip constructed to separate traffic travelling in different directions.)

Drivers must obey the school bus law on any road, no matter how many lanes or what the speed limit, and must stop for a school bus at any time, not just within school hours.

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.

Stopping for school buses is the law. Failing to stop for a school bus due to lack of attention is dangerous, illegal and costs multiple demerit points!  You may now be put in the high risk auto insurance category. If you collect enough demerit points, you may lose your driver’s licence, and, in some situations, your insurance company may refuse to renew your insurance!

We understand that there are times when we all may encounter a period of bad driving luck, and we can help you with our SweetLemons Insurance Programs.   We specialize in high risk auto insurance.  Our experts can analyze your specific driving record and put together a personalized plan for you with competitive rates that will quickly get you back on the road  to lower auto insurance premiums.