The team at CCD Law wants to send out this friendly reminder that the school buses will be back on the road as of Tuesday September 7th . It has been a while since those big yellow beasts have been on the road and there are some special school bus rules for every driver to remember.
When you see the red flashing lights they mean stop, so stop. The red lights mean stop if you are behind the bus. The red lights mean stop if you are approaching the bus. The red lights mean stop until they are no longer flashing. So, when you see the red flashing lights, stop. Our goal is the protection of the students who are getting on and off the bus. It has been awhile since students have been on a bus. Their attention may be elsewhere, talking to friends, adjusting masks, or just generally being children. They may not be paying attention so you have to. When red lights are flashing on a school bus, in front, beside or behind, the Highway Traffic Act requires you to stop.
Failure to stop for a bus has severe penalties. A first offence carries a minimum $400 fine, maximum is $2000 and 6 demerit points. A second offence is a minimum $2000 fine with a maximum up to $10,000. There is also a possibility of jail plus the 6 demerits points. What is also important to remember is that fail to stop for a school bus is a registered owner offence. You don’t have to be driving to get the ticket. The ticket goes to the registered owner of the vehicle. Now that being said, of course there are defences to these types of tickets. The police need reasonable grounds to believe an offence has been committed in order to lay a charge so if you are not found “caught committing” the offence, that is doing the deed with the police watching, then they police will gather their grounds through witness reports. The grounds used to lay are charge are always open to question and it doesn’t matter if they come from the police or civilian witnesses. A registered owner offence means that the ticket will come to the registered owner, but the registered owner can still defend themselves, the conviction isn’t automatic.
The bottom line is that the red lights mean stop so it is a good idea to stop. It is also a good idea to ensure that anyone driving your vehicle knows to stop as well. The safety of our children is a high priority. We should all be aware of when we are on the road, not only throughout the school season but always. Of course, mistakes are made, misunderstandings happen. If you or someone you know has been charged with a driving related offence, give the team at CCD Law a call and we will do all we can to ensure that mistakes and misunderstandings don’t get blow out of proportion and that you are protected from prosecutors trying to make a point. When you need us, we defend!