Friday September 1, 2017: Back-to-school Safety Reminder for Motorists

With classes starting up next week, the Peterborough Police Service reminds all residents to be extra vigilant in watching for stopped school buses and children. As a reminder, drivers must always stop for a school bus with its upper red lights flashing.

For Motorists:

  • Do not pass a stopped school bus: Vehicle owners can be charged if their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus. For the first offence, fines range from $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points. Each subsequent offence: $1,000 to $4,000, six demerit points and possible jail time up to six months.
  • Drivers must always stop for the bus: Whether on a city street, highway or county road, and regardless of the speed limit and the number of lanes, motorists travelling in both directions must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing. (The only exception: on highways separated by a median, traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop).
  • Once all passengers have boarded, the STOP arm will fold away. Do not start moving until the red lights have stopped flashing and the bus begins to move.
    Be aware of school zone signs and reduce your speed in school zones.
  • Always try and make eye contact with children waiting to cross the road.
  • Be patient and wait for children to complete their crossing before proceeding.
  • Stop when directed to do so by a crossing guard.
  • Always slow down at school drop off and pick up zones.
  • Always follow the rules provided by your school with respect to drop off and pick up zones.

Reporting Drivers Who don’t Stop:

You can also attend the Peterborough Police Station, 500 Water Street, and file a complaint. An officer will ask you:

  • The date and time of the incident.
  • The vehicle’s make, model, colour and licence number.
  • Who was driving?
  • Was the bus a “chrome yellow” school bus with the words “School Bus” at both the front and rear of the bus?
  • Was it a small or a large school bus?
  • Was the school bus stopped?
  • Were the upper red lights of the school bus flashing while it was stopped?
  • Were there passengers boarding or leaving the school bus?
  • Did the vehicle pass the school bus from behind or was it coming toward the bus in the opposite lane?

Other details can also help, such as witness accounts or photographs.

For more information on school bus safety please visit the Ministry of Transportation