(File Photo)

With schools back in session this week, it may be helpful to review laws concerning passing school buses.

Many motorists are unaware of the penalties for passing stopped school buses, despite the efforts to raise awareness, some drivers still fail to stop.

See also:

Before stopping a school bus for picking up or letting off children, a bus driver is required to activate amber flashing signal lamps.

Once the bus comes to a complete stop, the bus driver is required to extend the stop arm and activate the red flashing signal lights prior to opening the door of the bus.

If a school bus is stopped to pick up or let out passengers with the stop arm and signal lights activated, drivers must stop whether the bus is oncoming or you are behind the bus.

Vehicles shall not proceed until the bus has completely let out or picked up all passengers and started moving.

The hazards of ignoring these laws were made shockingly clear when a driver nearly ran over a child while she was exiting a school bus. While this particular incident occurred in Houston, TX it remains to serve as a reminder to drivers everywhere.

A video of the incident was posted online and has been shared by various media outlets since:

Penalties

In BC, the first offence penalty for illegally passing school buses is $368, and it increases dramatically after that.

For drivers who receive a second ticket it will be $668, and a third offence will run a motorist over $1000 for that third offence alone.

Drivers will continue to receive three penalty points on top of the increased fine.