Flashing red lights on a school bus means STOP!

- Image courtesy of the Alberta Government

The City of Lacombe, the Lacombe Police Service, and Prairie Bus Lines are reminding motorists to use caution and be alert when driving near school buses.

“As a city councillor and school bus driver, I feel it is very important drivers slow down and stop at a safe distance from a school bus with flashing red lights, so that students can get on or off the bus and cross the road safely,” said Councillor Reuben Konnik. “Please be mindful and exercise caution around school buses, as our children’s lives are at stake.”

“Our school bus drivers and our children regularly face dangerous situations when motorists don’t stop for the red lights,” said Prairie Bus Lines Safety and Loss Prevention Supervisor Jim Wyatt. “In reality, it is only a few seconds of everyone’s time to ensure these children get home safely. The consequences of not stopping for the flashing red lights on the school bus could last a lifetime.”

“Keeping our children safe while they are using school buses is a responsibility shared between students, bus drivers, and each of us as the motoring public,” said Lacombe Police Chief Steve Murray. “Passing a school bus that is stopped and displaying its red flashing lights carries a fine of $543 and six demerit points. Trying to save a few seconds by passing a school bus could cost a child their life; don't take the risk."

Follow these driving tips when around school buses:

  • Watch out for alternating flashing amber lights, which means a school bus is slowing to stop where students will either be getting on or off the bus.
  • Slow down and stop when the school bus activates its alternately flashing red lights. This means you must stop, whether you are approaching an oncoming bus or following one. The only exception to this rule is when the bus is on the opposite side of a two-way highway that is physically divided by a median.
  • Proceed only when the red lights on the bus have stopped flashing.
  • Watch for school buses loading and unloading children, even if the lights aren't flashing.

  • Don’t drive distracted - always watch for children crossing roads in school zones, playground zones, and in residential areas.

By following these safety tips and obeying the law, motorists can become part of the solution to this growing problem in our community, and help children head off to school and return home safely each and every day.


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