Service NL
Education and Early Childhood Development
August 29, 2018

Motorists Reminded to Drive Safe as Students Return to School

Students are returning to their classrooms next week and motorists are reminded to drive with extra caution, especially in school zones.

Drivers must obey the posted speed limit in school zones and yield to pedestrians using a crosswalk. Drivers must not pass a school bus while stopped and must obey the visual signals of the bus driver or the bus, such as the activated stop arm and flashing red or amber lights. Motorists are also reminded that driving while using a mobile phone or any other electronic device such as a tablet or video game, for example, is illegal.

Public safety is a top priority for the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Highway Traffic Act is amended on a regular basis in order to keep pace with safety issues. In 2016, amendments to the Highway Traffic Act increased penalties for illegally passing a school bus and speeding in a school zone. More recently, the act has been amended to address impaired driving, distracted driving, excessive speeding, street racing, stunting and other offences.

School buses are held to an extremely high standard, and are subject to rigorous inspection requirements. In 2016, amendments were made to the Official Inspection Station Regulations, which provide officials with stronger enforcement and reporting tools to ensure that the school buses on the province’s roads are safe. The most recent inspections continue to show high pass ratings for bus operators with 92.5 per cent of school busses inspected receiving a pass rating, demonstrating a commitment to maintaining a high safety standard.

All of these efforts are focused on improving road safety in Newfoundland and Labrador for the many students returning to school next week, and all residents throughout the province.

Quotes
“Going back to school is a very exciting time of year for students. Back to school also means increased vehicle and pedestrian traffic on our roadways. Our goal is to improve road safety in every town and every region of Newfoundland and Labrador, especially during this time of year when it is imperative to use caution in school zones. I wish all students a safe school year and please, drive carefully.”
Honourable Sherry Gambin-Walsh
Minister of Service NL

“The beginning of a new school year is an exciting time. It is a renewed start and a time to reconnect with friends and meet new people. I encourage all students to put their best efforts into this coming year. I also would like to remind motorists to take special care and watch for children on their way to and from school, and to also be especially mindful of students getting on and off school buses.”
Honourable Al Hawkins
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

Rappel aux automobilistes de conduire prudemment, car les élèves sont de retour à l'école

- 30 -

Learn More

Increased Fines Under the Highway Traffic Act Effective Today - gov.nl.ca/releases/2018/servicenl/0205n02.aspx

Highway Traffic Act Changes Aim to Strengthen Road Safety - gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/servicenl/1204n08.aspx

Highway Traffic Act - www.assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/h03.htm

Spring School Bus Safety Inspection Results Continue to Show Commitment to Safety - gov.nl.ca/releases/2018/servicenl/0727n06.aspx

Follow us on Twitter: @GovNLexternal link icon, @ServiceNL_ external link icon and @EDU_GovNL external link icon

Media contacts
Krista Dalton
Service NL
709-729-4748, 685-6492
kristadalton@gov.nl.ca

Debbie Marnell
Education and Early Childhood Development
709-729-1906, 689-9048
debbiemarnell@gov.nl.ca

2018 08 29                              11:00 a.m.