Keeping Children Safe, Both On And Off The School Bus
QUEEN'S PARK, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - School Bus Safety Week begins Monday, and
the Ministry of Transportation is reminding drivers to watch for school buses
and follow school bus safety rules.
Drivers must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with red lights
flashing, no matter which direction they are travelling. The only exception is
on highways separated by a median - only vehicles approaching a school bus
from behind must stop.
A flashing stop arm will swing out while passengers are boarding or
leaving the bus and then fold away. Drivers must not start moving until the
red lights have stopped flashing and the bus begins to move. Drivers who
illegally pass a stopped school bus with red lights flashing face a maximum
fine of $2,000 and six demerit points; vehicle owners can also face the same
fine, whether they were driving or not.
"Ontario's school bus industry has a remarkable safety record," says
Richard Donaldson, Executive Director of the Ontario School Bus Association.
"Considering the two million kilometres travelled and 1.6 million student
trips every school day, injury and fatalities are rare. However, the majority
of fatalities occur outside the school bus, as students get on or off the bus.
That is why this year's safety message to all motorists is - Stop on Red, Kids
Parents and teachers are being encouraged to make sure that students are
familiar with these safety tips:
- Use 10 giant steps as a guide to take you away from the front of
- Be sure you can see the driver and that the driver sees you
- Watch for the driver's signal that it is safe to cross
- Listen and look both ways to be sure it is safe before you cross
- If you drop anything in front of the bus, leave it - never stop to
pick it up
- Walk - never run - across the street.
Visit www.mto.gov.on.ca for school bus safety information, including tips
to help motorists and pedestrians report vehicles seen illegally passing a
stopped school bus.
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For further information:
For further information: Media Contacts: Bob Nichols, Communications
Branch, (416) 327-1158; Public Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686
toll free, 1-866-471-8929 TTY