New Canadian Law Makes It Illegal To Pass School Buses, Or You’ll Lose Your License

by Angela Andaloro

Many children rely on school buses to get them to and from their place of learning every day. It’s important for us to make school buses and the transportation of children as safe as possible.

One Canadian province has taken an extra step to ensure the safety of children who travel via school bus.

A new law that was recently passed on Prince Edward Island states that drivers who don’t stop for a school bus will lose their license and be met with a substantial fine. The law was passed following an increase in incidents where children were hurt or nearly hurt by passing cars while getting on or off a school bus.

While laws do require drivers to stop, more often than not people continue on their way regardless of the flashing lights or stop sign.

This important step should make a big difference to the families of Prince Edward Island, and it’s one that many people believe the United States should also adopt.

If you’re a parent who puts your kid on a school bus day after day, you probably have concerns about how safe they are.

You’re not wrong to be concerned. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s report on school-bus-related incidents shows that one-quarter of these incidents involve a vehicle that isn’t a school bus injuring a child.

Another survey conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services polled 97,000 school bus drivers throughout the United States on their own experiences. They reported that over 75,000 drivers illegally passed school buses in just 24 hours.

One province in Canada has had its own issues with school-bus-related incidents and is taking action.

One mother almost saw the unthinkable happen to her own daughter. Jill Lindstedt was watching her 6-year-old daughter Koral get on the bus when a distracted driver passed the school bus, nearly hitting Koral. “She just didn’t slow down at all. I guess she must’ve looked up and saw Koral last second. She swerved around her, and just barely missed her,” she told CBC Radio-Canada.

Prince Edward Island, where the Lindstedt family resides, has recently passed a law that will dole out harsher consequences to drivers who don’t respect school bus laws.

The law, which goes into effect this weekend, says that drivers who don’t stop for school buses will lose their licenses for three months. It also states drivers will receive 12 demerit points and will be subject to up to $5,000 in fines.

Transportation Minister Paula Biggar had this to say about the law: “Drivers who ignore this law are not allowed on Island roads.

Many residents of Prince Edward Island and other parts of Canada are thrilled. The law will help keep their children safe.

yellow school bus

While many think the United States should consider such laws, others aren’t optimistic that they would be adopted or enforced.

school bus

Some parents reported school bus drivers taking matters into their own hands to protect their students.

school bus

In fact, bus drivers are some of the most vocal advocates for harsher penalties, as many of them witness horrific incidents that could be prevented.

bus back

Sadly, many people think that the laws being passed aren’t enough to actually force people to do the right thing. Many feel that drivers will pick their own agendas over the lives of children.

One thing is for certain: Parents on Prince Edward Island will breathe a little easier knowing that drivers are now being held to this standard.