We are all Responsible for Back to School Safety

Posted On Friday August 23, 2019

The City of Cornwall would like to remind residents that school bus, crossing guard, and school zone safety is everyone’s responsibility.

School Bus Safety

  • Under the Highway Traffic Act, motorists travelling in both directions must stop when approaching a school bus that has its upper red lights flashing. The only exception: on roadways separated by a median, traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop.
  • Drivers can be charged for failing to stop for a school bus:
    • First offence: $400 to $2,000 fine and six demerit points
    • Each following offence: $1,000 to $4,000 fine, six demerit points, and up to six months jail time

Crossing Guard Safety

  • School crossing guards are employed by the City of Cornwall to ensure children cross the street safely.
  • Crossing guards create a safe gap in traffic to allow pedestrians to cross safely. Guards also encourage safe behaviour and report incidents and conditions that can present a safety hazard.
  • Crossing guards are given the authority under the Highway Traffic Act to require vehicles to stop and obey their stop sign. Drivers who do not obey a crossing guard could be fined up to $1,000 and lose four demerit points.
  • All vehicles are required to come to a complete stop and remain stopped until the children and crossing guard are safely off the road and have lowered their stop sign. Drivers who break this rule could face a fine of up to $500 and will lose three demerit points.

School Zone Safety

  • Roadways in designated school zones have a speed limit of 40 km/h, and drivers who exceed it by 16 to 29 km/h can lose three demerit points and be fined. Those going 50 km/h over face a loss of six demerit points, a suspended license and up to a $10,000 fine.

Preparing your Child for the School Bus

  • Children should not arrive at the bus stop too early, and should wait for the bus far from the roadway.
  • Students should know what to do if they miss the bus.
  • Children should look at the bus driver for a signal before crossing. When they cross, they must walk at least three meters away from the bus so the driver can see them.
  • When on the school bus, children should use the handrail.
  • If students must cross the road after getting off the bus, they should use 10 giant steps as a guide to take them out of the danger zone at the front of the bus.
  • Look and listen both ways to be sure it is safe before crossing.
  • If children drop anything in the danger zone, they should leave it. Never stop to pick it up.

According to the Ministry of Transportation, almost 824,000 students travel in about 16,000 school vehicles in Ontario.


For more safety tips from the Ministry of Transportation, please click here.

For information about Cornwall Transit back to school promotions, please click here.

To visit the website of Student Transportation of Eastern Ontario, please click here.

To visit the website of the Consortium de transport scolaire de l’Est, please click here.


For more information, contact:
Tommy Sauve
Safety & Training Supervisor
City of Cornwall
613-930-2787 ext. 2241

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