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Respect school zones and buses: OPP

Safe driving will earn drivers top grades during the back-to-school week.

With police upping the number of patrols in school safety zones and doling out hefty fines if laws are broken, the recent CAA survey shows parents believe the extra school-zone attention is necessary.

Conducted on behalf of CAA South Central Ontario, the survey found that 82 per cent of Ontario parents have witnessed dangerous driving behaviours in school zones – a four per cent increase compared to last year.

More than half (55 per cent) consider the roads around their child's school unsafe.

"Our children deserve to travel to and from school safely," said Tracy Marshall, manager of community relations at CAA SCO. "As another school year begins, drivers should prepare for higher traffic periods in school zones and drive with extra vigilance."

A crossing guard holds a stop sign while leading schoolchildren across a crosswalk. (Getty Images)

To that end, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will be increasing patrols in school zones during school hours at all area schools.

According to CAA SCO's survey, 91 per cent of parents in Ontario support lowering the speed limit in school zones, with 83 per cent saying they should be 30 km/h or lower.

When it comes to Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) or photo radar:

  • More than 75 per cent of survey respondents – an 11 per cent jump compared to last year – strongly support the use of it in school zones.
  • Eighty-one per cent believe its presence would deter speeding around schools.
  • Seventy-five per cent say that it should remain permanent in school zones.

Police want to remind drivers that speeding in a school zone carries a fine double the regular set fines for speeding plus the victim surcharge.

Drivers are cautioned to stop for school buses when signal lights are activated. Failure to stop for a school bus while either meeting or overtaking while lights are flashing carries a fine under the Highway Traffic Act of $490 plus six demerit points.

They will also be watching for drivers who don't obey crossing guards' directions. Failure to obey the crossing stop has a fine of $365.

Visit the I STOP YOU STOP campaign for more details. Top Stories

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