The Killaloe OPP is reminding drivers that school buses are returning to roads very soon.

Motorists are reminded to use caution because of the expected increase in pedestrians, cyclists and school buses, and give themselves extra commuting time. Police add students will be excited and may forget some of the safety rules required for safe travel.

The OPP say officers will be watching for drivers who disobey traffic laws for school bus safety and a zero tolerance approach will be taken.

Drivers encountering a stopped school bus, that has safety lights and equipment activated, must stop before reaching the bus and can’t proceed until the bus moves or the safety lights and equipment is deactivated. This applies whether you are meeting or following a school bus, and includes multi-lane roads. OPP say the only exception is when you’re driving on a road with a median, traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop.

If a vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus, the vehicle’s owner can be charged even if they weren’t driving, according to police. Not stopping for a school bus has a fine of $400 to $2000 and six demerit points for the first offence. Offences after the first, carry a fine between $1000 and $4000, six demerit points and possible jail time (up to six months).

Police say to 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.

Written by Courtney Crowder