OPP reminding drivers about school bus safety

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Essex County OPP want drivers to remember the laws around stopped school buses.

With warmer weather here and more cars on the roads, police want drivers to remember that passing a stopped school bus with its upper red lights and extended arm flashing is not only against the law but extremely dangerous.

OPP Constable Stephanie Caron says vehicle owners need to be aware that if the driver can't be identified, the owner can be charged.

"Drivers and vehicles owners can be charged if their vehicle illegally passes a stopped school bus," she says."Fines range from $400 to $2,000 plus 6 demerit points."

Caron says our children have to be put first when it comes to safety.

"It's a possibility that kids are not always paying attention and we as drivers absolutely need to pay attention," she adds.

According to OPP, each school day in Ontario, approximately 800,000 students are transported in 18,000 school vehicles traveling nearly 2-million kilometres.

There are approximately 700 companies operating school vehicles in Ontario, with approximately 54,000 school bus driver licence holders.

Police say when a school bus fatality does occur, it is most likely to happen outside the school bus when students are entering or exiting the bus.