by Morinville News Staff

With approximately 5,000 school buses transporting more than 400,000 children to school each day across Alberta, the province is cautioning motorists to be careful as school resumes.

The government says nearly half of the drivers who involved in bus collisions committed an error, the most common of which is following too closely.

“Drivers play a big part in school safety by slowing down and showing extra caution in school and playground zones,” said Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation, in a release Wednesday. “At the same time, students need to use caution when riding a bus, walking, cycling, or skateboarding to school.”

The province says more than 230 children under the age of 15 were killed or injured as pedestrians or cyclists annually between 2010 and 2014.

Despite the warnings, stopping for a school bus is a recurring problem in communities throughout the school year. The penalty for failing to stop for a school bus with its flashing red lights activated is $543 and six demerit points.

Drivers are encouraged to be mindful that children can be excited and anxious at this time of year and might not be paying attention and crossing safely.

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