P.E.I drivers will now lose their licence for a time if they illegally pass a school bus. School bus drivers, parents and others have been calling for more action on illegal passing for years after incidences of vehicles almost hitting children departing buses.
Failing to stop for a school bus will also result in 12 demerit points and driver’s licence suspension for three months in addition to a $5000 fine. The new measures are to take effect December 8th, 2019. Previously, the punishment was typically a fine of $1,000 and eight demerit points, with maximum fine of $5,000.
Those fines were already the highest in the country. The next highest were in Nova Scotia, ranging from $697.50 to $2,422.50. Second offences in Ontario could lead to a $4,000 fine and possible jail time.
For a suspended licence in P.E.I. to be reinstated, drivers need to meet with highway safety officials, pay a $100 reinstatement fee and take a defensive driving course within six months of getting their licence back. Drivers will then be on probation and if they receive any demerit points within a year of reinstatement, their licence will be suspended.