CORNWALL & SDG, Ontario – The CPS and OPP are making back to school safety a priority in the region.
CPS stated that throughout the month of September and into the school year, officers will be monitoring school safety zones to deter speeding and be on the look out for motorists failing to stop for school buses or crossing guards.
“Motorists who fail to stop for a school bus with its upper red lights flashing could be subject to a fine of up to $2,000 and six demerit points, while drivers found speeding through school safety zones are subject to a doubled fine ($4,000 and 12 demerit points),” read a CPS press release.
Cst. Patrick Depratto of the CPS Traffic Unit noted that one of the most common violations is drivers failing to stop for school buses or speeding.
“Officers will have a zero tolerance approach for these infractions. The safety of our students is a priority, and we need all drivers to slow down and pay extra attention to ensure these students make it safely to and from school,” said Cst. Depratto.
Ontario-wide, OPP officers investigated 304 school bus collisions in 2018, 76 of which were attributed to motorists or school bus drivers engaged in a form of distraction. In 2019, there have been 158 school bus collisions across the province so far, with 37 incidents linked to motorists or bus drivers failing to remain attentive.
“Drivers who pass a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing face fines of $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points. Subsequent offences carry higher fines and possible jail time,” read an OPP press release.
In 2018, 24 pedestrians were killed in OPP jurisdictions, with inattentive driving being the primary cause in seven deaths.
“Drivers who use their cell phone or are distracted in other ways continue to endanger the lives of people of all ages who share the road with them, be it as a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist. With the new school year set to begin, we need all motorists to make a firm commitment to keeping all forms of distraction out of the driver’s seat,” said Acting Dep. Commissioner Alison Jevons, Provincial Commander, OPP Traffic Safety and Operational Support.
In addition to traffic enforcement, CPS officers will regularly visit both elementary and secondary schools, engaging students and providing the opportunity to get to know one another.
“The CPS would like to wish all students, teachers and parents a safe and successful academic year as everyone returns to class,” read a CPS press release.