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School bus safety: how not abiding by the rules of the road can affect your insurance rates

Did you know that a single infraction involving a school bus can affect your car insurance premiums? Road safety, especially related to school buses and children, is very important. This importance is reflected in insurance company policies, which penalize drivers who do not exercise proper caution around children. The best course of action is to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road, and to remain vigilant around school zones and buses.

Rules of the Road
When you see a school bus with its lights flashing or stop sign out, you must stop. If there isn’t a median in the road, all traffic must stop regardless of the direction it is going. If there is a median, only traffic on the same side as the bus must stop. Additionally, the school bus and the car behind it must have a space of at least 20 meters between them. 

If you are the registered driver of a vehicle with an infraction against a school bus, you can be charged and fined. This holds true even if you were not the driver of the car. The typical fine for the first offence of not stopping for a school bus can range from $400 to $2,000. A second offence will receive a fine ranging from $1,000 to $4,000, including possible jail time of up to 6 months.1 Passing a school bus with its lights on will also cost you 6 demerit points, enough to get you a letter of warning.

Being charged with an infraction of disregarding the safety area of a school bus will cause your insurance premiums to increase. The low end of this infraction could cause your premiums to increase by as much as 25%2. The increased premium will continue as long as the infraction is on your record, which is usually a period of three years. 

Familiarizing yourself with the rules of the road and remaining vigilant around areas with children will keep your communities safe, and your premiums low. If you have any questions about your existing auto policy coverage contact your OTIP insurance broker at 1-800-267-6847

1.    Government of Canada
2.    Think Insure

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