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Back to School

Cop In Touch By Cons. Philip MendozaIn 2009 school year, over 800,000 Ontario students will be using the school bus system.  This system is extremely safe but to maintain this safety record, children, parents and care givers must again familiarize themselves with school bus safety rules.  The Toronto Police Service is committed to providing important messages to promote school bus safety for our children.  Please use and discuss the information provided and with your family members.

Rules for getting on the bus safely:

  1. Be at the bus stop on time. Never run to or from the bus.
  2. Wait at the designated stop, well back from the side of the road.
  3. Remember the danger zone around the bus. The danger zone is anywhere close enough to touch the bus.  The bus driver cannot see you when you are in the danger zone.
  4. If you cross the street to get on the bus: when the bus comes, wait until it has come to a complete stop. The bus driver will make sure all the traffic stops. The stop arm will be out and the red lights will be flashing. Watch the driver. When the driver knows it is safe, he or she will signal you to cross.  Watch for traffic.  Walk, don't run.
  5. Hold the hand rail as you get on the bus. Don't push or shove.

Rules for Safe School Bus Riding:

  1. Take your seat promptly and sit properly and always facing forward.
  2. Hold bags and parcels in your lap.  Do not stick your feet into the aisle because someone may trip.
  3. Keep your head and arms inside the bus.  Don't throw anything out the windows.
  4. Talk quietly.
  5. Save snacks for snack time at school or until you get home. They may spill or you may choke if the bus goes over a big bump.
  6. No fighting, shouting, playing or throwing things in and around the bus.
  7. Always follow the bus driver's instructions.

Rules for leaving the bus safely:

  1. When you leave the bus, hold the handrail and take two large steps away from the bus.
  2. To cross the street in front of the bus, walk ahead at least ten large steps (three metres). Cross only when the driver gives a signal.  Cross the street in single file.
  3. If you drop something near the bus, don't pick it up.  Tell the driver or another adult.
  4. If everyone is getting off the bus, the people at the front leave first.  Do not push.

School Bus Stopping Law

The Highway Traffic Act, which governs road user behaviour, is very clear on the responsibilities of motorists approaching a school bus:  HTA 175 (11)

"Every driver or street car operator, when meeting on a highway other than a highway with a median strip, a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing, shall stop before reaching the bus and shall not proceed until the bus moves or the overhead red signal-lights have stopped flashing."

Only on highways separated by a median strip is oncoming traffic not required to stop.

  • The penalties for illegal passing a stopped school bus are:
  • For first offence, the fine of $400 to $2,000 and the assessment of six (6) demerit points.

Then each subsequent offence, the fine of $1,000 to $4,000 and the assessment of six (6) demerit points and possible jail time up to six months.

The safety of our children is one of the highest priorities of the Toronto Police Service.  Please obey the School Bus Stopping Law and we look forward to a safe school year for our children.

School Crossing Guards

Just another reminder for our community members, Toronto Police Service is constantly looking for individuals for the position School Crossing Guards.

If you are interested in becoming a School Crossing Guard in your area, please contact the School Crossing Guard Co-ordinator of the Police Division in your area.

Please call 416-808-2222 or visit Toronto Police Service website at for further information.

Should you have any questions, please contact me at (416) 808-7071 or email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Toronto, Canada

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