Rules of Driving in School Zones

May 16, 2018 | Crossing Guards, Pedestrian Safety, School Zone Safety, Walking School Bus

School Zone Sign

School zone safety sign with blurred traffic in background

Written By: Kelly Banks

With recent changes to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, as well as the fact that it was a really long time ago that a lot us motorists took Drivers Ed has led to some confusion around drivers responsibilities and the rules of the road when in school zones, but the OSC is here to help!

Crossing Guard Rules:

New in January 2016, drivers are not allowed to pass ANYWHERE through a crosswalk if there are children and/or a Crossing Guard in the crosswalk.  This applies even if you the pedestrians have cleared the lane that you would like to proceed/turn through and to all crosswalks where a Crossing Guard is present, regardless of whether the roadway is two or four lanes.  The only time this rule doesn’t apply is if the crosswalk itself is divided with a median (i.e., the median juts out into the crosswalk providing pedestrians a safe place to stop and observe if it is safe to proceed).

Drivers who break this rule could face a fine of up $500 and will lose 3 demerit points.

School Zone Speed Rules:

Often, speed limits on roadways are reduced during the morning and afternoon bell times in school zones.  Speeding in school zones costs you more than speeding in other places.  Fines are increased if you are caught speeding in a school zone by up to 60%.  Not to mention that it will cost you 3 demerit points if you are caught going 20 km over the speed limit (i.e., 60km in a 40km school zone will cost you $180 and 3 demerit points).

Watch out for reduced speeds and signage that indicates you are in school zones.

Ensure you know the rules of the roads in school zones and always remain vigilant!  Children’s lives literally depend on it!