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Do you have a ticket for failing to stop for a school bus in Ontario? Fight Your Ticket Now

Failing to stop for a school bus is a serious offence with serious consequences. If you are found guilty of the charge, you will face the following penalties:

  • 6 demerit points
  • A conviction on your driving record
  • Significant Insurance rate increases
  • A possible license suspension (for novice drivers)
  • A fine between $400.00 and $2,000.00

 

How does a driver get charged with Failing to Stop for a School Bus? 

A police officer may observe you passing a school bus while the lights are flashing, or when the stop arm or stop sign is activated. This will likely result in a fail to stop for school bus ticket.

 

What are my options if I get a Fail to Stop for School Bus traffic ticket?

Due to the serious nature of this charge, it is always best to talk to an experienced paralegal before deciding how to proceed. Our team can help uncover defences that may be available to you. This would indeed protect you from the severe consequences.

What defence could I have for failing for stop for a school bus?

Like every other charge in an Ontario court, the prosecutor must prove its case against you. This means they must prove that the school bus had its stop sign activated, the stop arm was actuated, the flashing lights or overhead red signal lights were visible and in use, the school bus passengers were children, and several other factors. If any of these elements are not proven by the prosecutor, an experienced legal representative will make an argument to have the ticket withdrawn. Other factors include weather, speed, driving record; all cases are unique.

What if I was given a ticket for failing to stop for a school bus in my mailbox?

If you received a ticket for failing to stop for a school bus in your mailbox, it is likely because the school bus driver observed your vehicle passing a school bus when the bus was stopped to let children off or on. In this situation, the bus driver records the license plate number and reports it to the police. Since it was not observed by a police officer, they will often mail or drop off the ticket at your house. If this is the case, you may only be issued a fine. It is important to note that you have the right to not incriminate yourself if a police officer knocks on your door to ask you about an incident involving your vehicle. If you provide the officer with information about the driver of the vehicle, you may be issued a ticket that includes demerit points and other serious consequences. It is always best to call our office if you have any questions or concerns about your school bus ticket. One of our experienced paralegals can determine what section of the Highway Traffic Act you are charged under and explain the penalties and engineer a defence. 

Are the consequences different for novice drivers?

The consequences for novice drivers are more severe. If you have a G1/G2 or M1/M2 and are convicted of a school bus offence, you will receive a 30-day license suspension. For subsequent offences, your license will be suspended for 90 days or may even be revoked. School bus tickets are considered major or serious violations and a conviction on a novice driver’s driving record will likely result in high-risk insurance rates. This means your current insurance rate could double or triple.

What does the law say about passing a school bus?

Section 175 of the Highway Traffic Act addresses school bus tickets as follows:

Duty of drivers when school bus stopped

(11) Every driver or streetcar 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. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 21 (1).

(11.1) Every driver or streetcar operator, when meeting on a highway, other than a highway with a median strip, a stopped school bus that has its stop arm actuated, shall stop before reaching the bus and shall not proceed until the bus moves or the stop arm is no longer actuated. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 21 (1).

(12) Every driver or streetcar operator on a highway, when approaching from the rear a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing, shall stop and shall not proceed until the bus moves or the overhead red signal-lights have stopped flashing. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 21 (1).

(12.1) Every driver or streetcar operator on a highway, when approaching from the rear a stopped school bus that has its stop arm actuated, shall stop and shall not proceed until the bus moves or the stop arm is no longer actuated. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 21 (1).

(12.2) Every driver or streetcar operator on a highway, when approaching from the rear a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal-lights flashing, or that has its stop arm actuated, shall stop at least 20 metres before reaching the bus. 2017, c. 26, Sched. 4, s. 21 (1).

Failing To Stop For School Bus Ticket FAQs

What is the penalty for failing to stop for a school bus in Ontario?
For a first offense, the penalty includes a fine ranging from $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points.Subsequent offenses within five years may result in fines between $1,000 and $4,000, six demerit points for each offense, and potential imprisonment for up to six months.
Do I have to stop if I am approaching a school bus from the front?
Yes, you must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper alternating red lights flashing, regardless of whether you are behind the bus or approaching from the front.
Are there exceptions to stopping for a school bus on a two-way road?
If you are on a road with a median strip, only vehicles coming from behind the bus must stop. Vehicles cannot cross over a median strip.
What if I don't stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing?
It is illegal not to stop for a stopped school bus with its red lights flashing. For a first offense, you can be fined $400 to $2,000 and receive six demerit points.
Can school bus drivers and witnesses report vehicles that illegally pass a school bus?
Yes, in Ontario, school bus drivers and other witnesses can report vehicles that have illegally passed a school bus.
How does the law define the duties of a driver when meeting a school bus?
According to the Highway Traffic Act, when meeting a school bus with its overhead red signal-lights flashing, a driver shall stop before reaching the bus and shall not proceed until the bus moves or the lights have stopped flashing.
What are the potential consequences for novice drivers convicted of failing to stop for a school bus?
Novice drivers can face a 30-day suspension upon conviction, and the conviction may dramatically affect insurance rates for three years.
Can I dispute a school bus ticket in court?
Yes, school bus tickets are one of the most disputed traffic tickets in court. Prosecutors often do not drop the charges, and qualified legal representation is recommended.

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I received a school bus ticket due to an accident. What should I do?

It is very important that you immediately call an experienced legal team to discuss your school bus charge if it resulted in an accident or any injuries. Accident charges have more serious consequences, including the possibility of a civil lawsuit being filed against you. It is important to seek help immediately so you can minimize the damages right from the start. We offer no obligation free quotes for all charges.

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