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Back-to-school safety tips from the OPP

Illegally passing a school bus can result in hefty fines, demerit points
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The Grey Bruce Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding drivers that students in Grey Bruce are heading back to school next week after summer break. For drivers, that means maintaining a heightened level of awareness for students getting on or getting off a school bus or when travelling near or through a school zone. A distraction of a split-second can be enough to cause a devastating collision.

Drivers may encounter school buses and increased traffic on their morning or afternoon commutes so they should take that into consideration. Drivers are also reminded to slow down when you see a school bus and start to stop when you see the yellow lights as it could come to a stop at any time. Remember, failing to stop for a stopped school bus that has its flashing red lights engaged is a serious offence. For a first-time offence, you can be fined from $400 have six demerit points added to your license.

In Ontario, school bus drivers and other witnesses can report vehicles that have illegally passed a school bus. If you are the vehicle's registered owner, these same fines may be applied to you.

Parents are also encouraged to talk with your children about being safe when going and coming from school. Here are a few reminders for students:
    •    Cyclists under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet by provincial law. Cyclists must obey the same rules of the road as all other vehicles.
    •    Pedestrians should stay on sidewalks. If there are none, they should be walking on the left side of the road facing traffic as far off onto the shoulder as possible.
    •    Pedestrians and cyclists should make use of the crossing guards who will be returning to their posts to help our children get safely across the road.

The Grey Bruce OPP will have enhanced high visibility patrols around school zones throughout the coming weeks to ensure drivers and students are following the rules of the road and exercising the appropriate level of caution and care.

Our children's safety is everyone's responsibility. Everyone using the roads needs to exercise vigilance, patience and understanding as our students' head back to school. We ask you to please do your part to keep our children safe.