October 12th, 2011
The Bridgewater Police Service is participating in School Bus Safety Week, October 17-21, 2011. This year’s theme, “Be Aware: Know the Danger Zone” reminds all children to keep 10 giant steps away from the bus at all times. Cross in front of the bus crossing gate and always remain in sight of the driver.
Each day about 33 school buses transport more than 1,200 school children within the town of Bridgewater. “Our job, along with school board personnel, is to ensure that children of all ages get to school safe and sound on each and every ride,” stated Traffic Safety Coordinator Sgt. Jerome Richard. “That’s why we think it is so important to emphasize School Bus Safety Week.”
A serious issue is that of vehicles passing school buses that are stopped to load or unload students. This is illegal. We would like to remind all drivers, by law, you must stop for a school bus that is displaying its flashing alternating red lights; alternating amber (yellow) lights flashing on a school bus mean that the bus is about to stop.
Section 103(3), Motor Vehicle Act: “Failing to stop for stopped school bus exhibiting red lights”.
The fine is $397.71 for the first offence, $685.21 for the second and $1260.21 for the third offence. The driver will have 6 points added to their driver’s license each time and will lose their Drivers’ Licence after accumulating ten points. In addition, their insurance will go up.
You must stop for a bus displaying alternating flashing red lights whether you are driving behind the bus or whether you are driving toward the bus in the opposing lane. In a June 2006 survey by school bus drivers, 85% of the incidents occurred when the other vehicle was driving toward the bus in the opposing lane.
We also ask that all parents take time to teach their children to look for traffic while walking to and from their bus stops or school. Safe pedestrian practices include wearing bright clothing, avoiding the use of headsets or earphones, and staying alert to traffic and other hazards.
For further information please contact: Sgt. Jerome Richard, Bridgewater Police Service, 543-2464
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