The relatively carefree driving days of summer are nearly over.

School buses will be back on our roadways and drivers will have to shift mental gears and be aware of school zones and kids getting picked up and dropped off in their neighbourhoods.

OPP Constable Mo Tilson says it is time for drivers to be mindful of what is going on around them.

“Basically we are looking for caution around school areas and children that are walking to school,” offers Tilson. “Sometimes kids get excited and don’t think and they dart out onto the roadway between vehicles.”

As the new school year gets started there will be normal routes stopping at the same time every day. Tilson says if that impacts your daily drive, you need to adjust and leave earlier or later to avoid the multiple stops. What is not an option is getting impatient and trying to pass the bus in an unsafe and illegal manner.

It is a problem school bus companies report annually. People not stopping or understanding their role on the road when a bus has deployed its stop sign and the warning lights are flashing.

“If you see the bus stopped with its red flashing lights (and stop sign out) traffic in both directions needs to stop,” she says.

That includes multi-lane roadways, though not divided highways.

If you get caught running through a bus’ stop sign, there is a maximum $2,000 fine and a loss of six demerits on your driver’s licence.