With kids preparing to head back to class, expect to see plenty of school busses on Muskoka roads.

That’s why the OPP wants to make sure all drivers are following the rules of the road. The obvious one is that if you see a bus stopped with its stop sign arm extended, stop. “Don’t move forward until the red lights have stopped flashing or the bus begins to move,” Constable Adam Gauthier adds.

If you don’t follow that rule, you could be fined between $400 and $2,000 for your first offence, but have six demerit points added to your license. After that, the fine jumps to between $1,000 and $4,000 and six demerit points with the possibility of up to six months in jail added.

Gauthier says it’s also important to be mindful of school zones and intersections near schools and drive slowly through them, adding to be patient with kids as they cross the road. “Obey crossing guard instructions,” he continues. Gauthier suggests making eye contact with kids when they cross the street. 

School busses stop at all railways crossings regardless if a train is coming, so be prepared to stop for a few moments if you’re approaching one and behind a bus.

To avoid being held up by a school bus, he says to give yourself extra time in the morning to get to where you’re going.