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Aug 24, 2018

6 min. read

The lazy, hazy days of summer will soon be coming to an end and before you know it, kids will be back in school.

With over two million students commuting every day in Ontario, we all need to ensure the neighbourhoods around our schools are as safe as possible.

Back-to-school basics.

It’s the usual September ritual; busy parents dropping their kids off before work, kids biking and walking to school and school buses picking up their young passengers.

More congested road and streets mean this is the perfect time to remind motorists to pay extra attention, especially before and after school hours. It’s also important to know that driving violations committed in a school zone equal stiff fines that can seriously increase your auto insurance rates.

A woman holding a stop sign in front of a group of children.

Safety first (or pay a price).

In Ontario, there are three categories of traffic violations: minor, major and serious/criminal.

A conviction for a school zone violation is considered a ‘major’ conviction. Every insurer has their own policies on how to rate potential customers for these types of violations but it’s important to know that some insurers may not even accept you if you’ve had a major violation within the last 3 to 6 years. Those that do may very well charge you a hefty surcharge as a result of your violation/s.

Some of the most common school zone tickets (major violations) that are issued in Ontario include:

  • Failing to obey a school crossing stop sign

  • Improper passing of a school bus

  • Speeding in a school/playzone

Starting September 1, 2018, a conviction for failing to yield at a school crossing will get you a fine of up to $1,000 and cost you four demerit points.

Failing to stop for a school bus will cost you up to $2,000 and each subsequent offence, up to $4,000 plus six demerit points. You can also be sentenced for up to six months in jail.

Drivers who have been convicted of these types of violations present risks that many insurance companies are just not keen on accepting.

Keeping roads safe for kids during the back-to-school season and beyond is a priority that we all share. And ensuring you’re following the rules of the road means you’ll be able to access insurance much more readily and at a much more affordable price.

Stay safe.

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