The Temiskaming Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind drivers with the cold weather, it’s time to think about winter traffic safety and school buses.

School transportation is a safe way to travel. In fact, buses are safer than cars but winter driving conditions call for added attention from drivers and school bus passengers. 

In Ontario, 800,000 children travel on school buses every day. 

Within the Temiskaming area there are many rural bus routes that require the bus to stop on the highway. “Drivers must remain alert for the morning and afternoon school bus stops and watch for the students who are let off at the roadside. Being inattentive can change lives forever.” 

Motorists must keep a safe distance away from a stopped school bus with the upper red lights flashing. Extra caution is needed when blowing snow and cold weather exhaust, reduces visibility. Remember that winter roads and cold weather driving, makes for increased stopping distances. 

Ontario law requires motorists traveling in both directions to stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper lights flashing.  When meeting a school bus in oncoming traffic, motorists must stop far enough away to allow students to cross the road well ahead of the bus bumper. Motorists must remain stopped until the school bus begins to move, and the upper red lights have stopped flashing. This law applies on highways, city streets and country roads, regardless of the posted speed limit, at any time of day, and every day of the week. 

Drivers are reminded to be extra cautious when driving in and around school zones. On cold winter mornings children are bundled up for warmth and their hoods and hats reduce their peripheral vision. Slippery surfaces and snow banks add to the danger and a fall could put them in your vehicle’s path.

If part of your morning route includes dropping off youngsters at school, please drive with added attention.  With a car full of children, it’s easy to become distracted. Choose your stopping area with care and do not impede school bus loading zones. If the drop off area is congested park away from the school and walk your children to the school ground entrance.

Working together, we can protect our children, by keeping our roads safe and injury free.

Filed under: Local News