With the weather changing and thoughts of Halloween fading into Christmas, Blackfalds residents are reminded about safe rules of the road, especially around school buses. Drivers must respect the flashing lights on a school bus, which create a safety zone around the bus and are often children’s only defense when they get on or off the bus.
“We want to remind drivers that flashing lights on school buses means stop, no exceptions,” said Emergency Management & Protective Services Manager Ken Morrison. “It is for the children’s safety as well as yours and we want to remind drivers to watch when approaching a school bus.”
Drivers are encouraged to be diligent about safety when approaching a school bus. Here are some things to watch for:
- Use caution and be alert when driving near buses and in school zones.
- Watch out for alternating flashing amber lights, which means a school bus is slowing to stop where students will either be getting on or off the bus.
- Slow down and stop when the school bus activates its alternately flashing red lights. This
- means you must stop whether you are approaching an oncoming bus or following one. The only exception to this rule is when the bus is on the opposite side of a two-way highway that is physically divided by a median.
- Proceed only when the red lights on the bus have stopped flashing.
- Watch for school buses loading and unloading children, even if the lights aren’t flashing. • Be on the lookout for children crossing the road.
- When travelling in school zones, drivers must pay attention to the posted signs. The speed for school zones in Blackfalds is 30 km/h unless otherwise posted. These limits are in effect on school days from 7:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on school days.
The fine for passing a school bus with its red lights flashing is $543 and six demerit points.
Transport Canada has reported that school bus travel remains the safest mode of transportation to and from schools. Maintaining this safety requires motorists do their part too.
For more information on safe roads, visit the Province’s website and help keep the roads safe for drivers, pedestrians and children.
-Submitted by the Town of Blackfalds