Highway drivers failing to stop for school buses
OPP fear more accidents could happen
The OPP wants motorists travelling on Highway 60 to be aware they are required by law to stop, in both directions, for a school bus when it is stopped with his lights flashing.
HUNTSVILLE – Parents along the Highway 60 corridor in Huntsville fear for their children’s safety as they witness motorists driving through the flashing red lights and stop sign on the school bus, while their children are boarding it.
“It makes me feel a little bit anxious,” said Crystal Nunn, whose young daughter takes the bus. “I feel a little better because she’s not crossing (the highway). But none of these people know if anyone’s going to cross or not. It shows how much people don’t pay attention while they’re driving. Their minds are on other things.”
Another parent agreed and said these motorists are lacking common sense when they run the lights.
One bus driver estimates about six motorists a day, between the morning pickup and afternoon drop-off, run the lights and sign.
Const. Lynda Cranney with the Huntsville OPP Detachment said it’s a problem year after year.
“It is very clear at this section, when she puts her lights on back there to caution that she’s slowing down to pick up the kids; there’s lots of time for people to stop,” said Const. Cranney. “And they can’t use the excuse the sun’s in their eyes.”
A few weeks ago a motorist was rear ended when they stopped for a school bus and another driver didn’t notice.
“There were minor injuries and lots of damage to the vehicles,” said Const. Cranney.
The fine for running a stopped school bus with its lights flashing is $490 and six demerit points. Motorists are required to stop in both directions, even on a four-lane highway, like Highway 60.
“The Highway Traffic Act is quite clear. When the school bus is stopped and the flashing lights are on, they have to stop,” she said. “Some of the school busses give lots of warning before they stop and then when they are stopped the arm comes out.”
Parents along the Highway 60 corridor would like to see a greater police presence between Muskoka Road 3 and Canal Road when the buses are running. Even for just a week to increase awareness for motorists.
Const. Cranney said officers patrol the area as much as they can and issue traffic offences when they catch the offenders.
“We definitely don’t want to have any children hurt and we also don’t want to have any more crashes. It is stressful for the bus drivers to try and watch for these things and keep the kids safe. We want motorists to be aware they do have to stop on Highway 60 for bus lights in both directions, even along the four-lane section.”