Pass a bus, lose your licence

It is illegal and dangerous to pass a school bus when the lights are flashing.

In order to better protect Island students, drivers who illegally pass a school bus will lose their licence. 

As of December 8, 2018, failing to stop for a school bus when the red flashing lights are activated will lead to 12 demerit points, resulting in suspension of the licence for three months. This is in addition to the fine of up to $5000.

“We all have a role to play in keeping children safe on their way to school. This change means that drivers who ignore this law are not allowed on Island roads,” said Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar. “We are working with our police and education partners to prevent the dangerous practice of illegally passing school buses and we continue to explore comprehensive options to eliminate this unnecessary risk to children.”

This change increases the penalty for illegally passing a school bus from eight demerit points to 12 demerit points. When any driver accumulates 12 demerit points, the licence is suspended is for a period of three months. 

In order for the licence to be reinstated, the driver meet with Highway Safety, pay a $100 reinstatement fee, and take a defensive driving course within six months of the getting their licence back. After the reinstatement, the driver is on a demerit point probation in which any further demerits within one year will result in a further licence suspension.

Government has ramped up public awareness efforts to prevent dangerous and distracted driving, and continues to explore additional prevention and enforcement options including new technology and safety features on school buses and further legislative amendments.

"No distraction is worth risking the life of a child," said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown. "I'm glad to see one more step being taken to protect our children who rely on the bus to get to school every day."

To learn more about keeping school children safe, visit  School Bus Safety.

Media contact:
Katie MacDonald
Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy

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