Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki LLP, personal injury lawyers Ottawa, is republishing this press release from the Ottawa Police as it contains valuable information about the obligations of drivers around school buses and also advises citizens that if they see a driver failing to respect the flashing lights of a school bus that charges can be laid against such a driver on the strength of the citizen's report (i.e. the police do not have to see the offence).
There will be a lot more anxious parents on Tuesday morning as all of the children will be back to school after the Labour Day weekend. Ottawa -The City of Ottawa's Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) is targeting drivers who follow too close and school zone safety this month as part of its ongoing commitment to keeping Ottawa's roads safe.
Following too close: Between 2007 and 2011, following too close was the cause of 24,487 traffic collisions, 6,872 injuries and eight fatalities. School Zone Safety: Between 2007 and 2011, there were 41 collisions in schools zones throughout the city resulting in nine injuries.
The penalties for a driver passing a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing include fines ranging from $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points for a first offence. A second offence yields the driver a fine between $1,000 and $4,000, six demerit points and a possible jail sentence of up to six months. Penalties may not be limited to the driver. The vehicle owner may also be charged for school bus traffic control violations, with fines ranging from $400 to $2,000.
Police officers are not required to witness the vehicle passing a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing in order to lay charges against the vehicle owner. Citizens who witness such occurrences can contact the police and provide the make, model, colour of vehicle; license number; location, date and time of the incident; and, if possible, a description of the driver. Safer Roads Ottawa would like to remind drivers that reducing your travelling speed greatly reduces your chances of being involved in a collision and increases your ability to react to situations on the road.
These initiatives support the larger Safer Roads Ottawa Program, a leading partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.