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RCMP: Motorists Must Stop When School Bus Red Lights Are Flashing - Nov. 01, 2012

Each weekday tens of thousands of students travel by school bus to and from their school.

District 1 RCMP Charlotte and the Isles would like to remind motorists to be aware of school bus traffic. The buses are primarily on the road early in the morning before 9:00 a.m. and again after school anytime after 1:30 p.m. but can also be on the road during other parts of the day transporting students to special events and activities.

Police have received complaints from bus drivers that cars are failing to stop when the red lights are flashing. Motorists are reminded to be alert and slow down when they approach a school bus as it makes many sudden stops.

The RCMP has the following safety tips for motorists:
● never pass a school bus when its red lights are flashing.
● stop at least two car lengths from a school bus that has its red lights flashing and the stop arm extended.
● remain stopped until the overhead red lights have stopped flashing and the bus begins to move.
● when meeting a school bus in oncoming traffic, stop far enough away to allow students to cross the road well ahead of the bus bumper.
● be extra vigilant driving around school hours; assume a child might run out at any moment.
● be courteous to school bus drivers, give the buses room; and let drivers change lanes when they need to.
● if you spot a driver who does not stop for a school bus when its red lights are flashing, safely pull over and record the following:
-location, date and time;
-make, model, colour and license plate;
-description of the driver;
-size of the bus (small or large);
-children boarding or exiting the bus;
-driver passed from the front or from behind the bus; and if you are able,
-report the incident to police as soon as possible by telephone or in person.

Failure to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights could result in a fine of $292.50 to more than $1200. The same fines are applied to motorists who are caught speeding in school zones.