EMBRUN — The Russell County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) reminds motorists that school buses have returned in our communities this week. Motorists should be aware of the expected increase in pedestrians, cyclists and school buses, and give themselves extra commuting time. Students will no doubt be excited and may forget many of the safety rules required for safe travels.
Russell County OPP will be focusing traffic patrols in these school zone areas throughout the Russell County area, as an initiative to increase community safety.
Officers will be enforcing all aspects of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) including but not limited to distracted driving, speeding, seatbelts as well as offences related to yielding for pedestrians and school bus infractions.
If you encounter a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing, stop before reaching the bus and do not proceed until the overhead red signal-lights have stopped flashing. The minimum fine for failing to stop for a school bus is $400 and six demerit points. This applies whether you are meeting or following a school bus, and includes multi-lane roads. The only exception is when driving on a road with a median – traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop.
Drivers should also be prepared to yield to student pedestrians and cyclists. Parents of students who will be walking or cycling to school are encouraged to speak with their children about the rules of the road that apply to them.