School buses are back on the roads this week and the OPP want you to be aware.

Members of the James Bay Detachments of the OPP are reminding drivers in the local area that failing to stop when meeting or overtaking a school bus is extremely dangerous.

Provincial Constable Stephanie Belec says motorists need to be extra focused and prepared to stop for school buses Monday through Friday between the hours of 6:00am to 9:30am and 3:00pm to 6:00pm.

Belec says when driving with no median:

  • drivers travelling in both directions must stop for a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing
  • when you approach the bus from the front, stop at a safe distance to let children get on or off the bus and cross the road
  • when following a school bus, stop 20 meters behind the bus
  • don’t move forward until the red lights have stopped flashing or the bus begins to move

She says for illegally passing a school bus a driver can be charged between $400 and $2000 plus six demerit points for a first time offence and between $1000 and $4000 plus six demerit points and possibly jail time for future offences.

Further tips on school bus safety can be found on the Ministry of Transportation Website.