It’s that time of the year again! Kids are saying goodbye to the beach and the cottage and hello to their teachers and school friends. The start of a new school year is filled with excitement and promise, as well as a few nerves, as students and their families get back into their fall routine.
As part of that routine, Ferguson Barristers wants to remind drivers about a few safety tips as our children return to school.
Stop for School Buses
Back to school means school buses are back on the road. In Ontario, motorists approaching a school bus with its upper red lights flashing must stop. This applies to cars travelling in both directions and does not depend on the speed limit or the number of lanes on the roadway in question.
It is only after the students have boarded the bus, the STOP arm has been folded away and the red lights have stopped flashing that a motorist is permitted to move.
In addition to the possibility of injuring a child in an motor vehicle accident, the failure to stop for a school bus may result in fines, demerit points and possible jail time.
Parents and students also have a vital role to play in school bus safety. Children should be aware of, and follow, the safety rules set out by the Ministry of Education.
The anticipation of the new school year means that most kids are little excited and distracted – especially during the first few weeks of September. For that reason, it is important that drivers be extra vigilant and watchful while travelling around school areas. Reduce your speed in school zones and be on the lookout for school crossings.
Speed limits may be reduced in the immediate area surrounding a school on days when school is regularly held and at times prescribed by the municipality. Take a few moments this week to remind yourself about the school zones on your driving route and follow these reduced speed limits.
Let’s all work together to keep our children safe as they return to school!