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Drivers reminded children heading back to school

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With the last of the summer weekends here, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are reminding drivers to stay focused on the task of driving!

With children heading back to school soon within the Rainy River District, distracted driving is of particular concern to the OPP as distraction-related collisions in OPP jurisdiction continue to rise.

According to the OPP, everyone travelling on roads and highways should be equally concerned about this alarming trend.

This week, school buses are already returning to our roadways in preparation for the start of a new school year.

Motorists should be taking extra care and aware of school buses travelling their routes and begin to watch for students who are biking and walking to school areas.

Zero tolerance is the expected response when officers observe drivers who fail to stop for school buses when red lights are flashing and those who continue to talk and/or text on their cellular devices.

  • Stopping for a school bus:

You must stop whenever you approach a stopped school bus with its upper alternating red lights flashing, regardless of whether you are behind the bus or approaching it from the front.

It is illegal to fail to stop for a stopped school bus that has its red lights flashing.

If you don’t stop, you can be fined $400 to $2,000 and get six demerit points for a first offence.

If you are convicted a second time within five years, the penalty is a fine of $1,000 to $4,000 and six demerit points.

  • Hand held communication devices: Ontario’s law makes it illegal for drivers to talk, text, type, dial or email using hand-held cell phones and other hand-held communications and entertainment devices.

Drivers caught using a hand-held device will face a set fine of $225 plus a victim surcharge and court fees for a total of $280.

Drivers who challenge the ticket in court face fines of up to $500.

To learn more, check out the resources on the new Rainy River District Community Policing website www.rainyriverdistrictcpc.ca

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