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Back to school time means road safety is even more important, according to OPP

Tuesday marks the beginning of the work week for many adults after the Labour Day long weekend and for many young ones, it’s the first day of school.

The OPP is warning that with school back in session, it means there will be many kids walking to and from school in the morning and afternoon. Police officials say all drivers should be cautious when around school buses and in school zones.

Notably, Sergeant Kerry Schmidt says buses have newly installed amber lights on them to go along with the previously outfitted red lights. “What we want people to remember is that when you see those amber lights, be prepared to stop,” he says in a video posted to the provincial police’s Highway Safety Division social media account.

The amber lights, he explains, signify the bus is about to stop. Once it does, they will change to red and the stop arm will come out. “When the red lights are flashing, whether you’re coming from the front or behind, you’re required to stop and wait for the students to get on and once the bus starts moving and the red light stops flashing, at that point you can then go ahead and drive past the bus,” Schmidt says.

Officials say that failure to stop will cost between $400 to $2,000 for a first offence and between $1,000 to $4,000 for every offence after that. Each time someone is caught blowing past a school bus with its stop arm out, six demerit points will be added to their license. Up to six months of jail is also possible from the second offence onwards.

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