It may seem odd to address the topic of school buses in the middle of winter, but the subject is one that’s always worth talking about!
In the winter, driving is riskier...! First, when we have freezing temperatures (think -30°), our first concern is how to deal with the cold, after which we start wondering why we didn’t stay at home where it’s warm and cozy! Our judgment can become clouded and our decisions not as sound as they usually are. The students waiting on the roadside for the school bus are no different than we are...
Winter often equals poor visibility! Even with a vehicle free of snow or ice, it only takes a bit of wind, snow or less light for our vision to be affected. Not to mention the frosted or fogged-up windows and the lazy drivers with their vehicles that look like igloos…
Finally, when road are slippery, your vehicle may not always respond as quickly or exactly the way you want it.
These are all good reasons to take a deep breath and be extra careful whenever there is a school bus nearby. It’s important to adjust your speed to road and weather conditions, regardless of the speed limit in that zone. When it takes you nearly half a block to stop your vehicle, the problem is most likely your speed... not icy roads!
Drivers must always stop when a school bus has its red lights flashing, even if they are in a hurry or if there is no children nearby. The only exception is when a school bus is on the other side of a median (earth strip dividing a road).
And for those of you who fail to abide the law regarding the need to stop when a school bus has its flashing (red) lights on, the Highway Safety Code imposes a hefty fine and 9 demerit points. Yikes!
To ensure everyone’s safety, drivers must:
- Adjust their speed to the weather (i.e., visibility) and road conditions.
- Leave sufficient space between their vehicle and the school bus or young students (at least 5 metres, which is about a car length).
- Stop whenever a school bus has its red lights flashing.
Other blog articles that may interest youDon’t tailgate! It slows everyone down...
Pedestrians and cyclists: How to stay visible during winter
Why reduce your driving speed?
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