McGuinty Government Taking Action On School Bus Safety
Premier Encourages Drivers To Pay Special Attention In New School Year
TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today encouraged drivers throughout the province to pay special attention as the new school year approaches and help ensure that students travel safely to school and home.
"When parents walk their children to the curb and watch the school bus pull away, they're counting not just on that bus driver to keep their child safe, but everyone who shares the road," said Premier McGuinty. "Everyone can play a role by showing extra caution around school buses and always stopping when the lights are flashing."
Premier McGuinty, joined by Minister of Transportation Harinder Takhar, highlighted that while Ontario already has an excellent road safety record, his government is taking action to protect children and youth by proceeding with legislation to improve school bus safety and ensure safer streets.
"We're making sure our children arrive safely at school and get home safely every night," said Minister Takhar. "We must continually strive to make the school day safer -- it's a fundamental trust that parents place in our public education system. That's why we've introduced legislation to help meet this commitment."
To improve school bus safety, the Act to Enhance the Safety of Children and Youth on Ontario's Roads would, if passed, ensure that:
- All new school buses include a safety-crossing arm to prevent children from walking into the bus driver's blind spot at the front of the bus
- All school buses have decals indicating a maximum $2,000 fine for a first offence of passing a stopped school bus with flashing overhead lights
- Vehicle owners can be charged if their vehicles are reported to have illegally passed a stopped school bus.
Premier McGuinty also acknowledged the contributions of MPP Pat Hoy, who has been active in promoting school bus safety through private members' legislation and other activities.
"We owe it to Ontario's children, parents and communities to make our roads as safe as they can be," said Premier McGuinty. "By protecting our children and youth, we're building safe and strong communities that offer Ontario's families a quality of life that is second to none."