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Cycling past a school bus? Stop if the flashing lights are on

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If a school bus stops and turns on its flashing lights, everyone in the vicinity must also stop, according to Quebec's Highway Safety Code.

This includes drivers, scooters and even cyclists.

According to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ), people on the road must be "ready to stop if you are approaching or following a school bus."

This is because when a school bus driver turns on their flashing red lights and activates their stop sign, they are either picking up or dropping off children.

People must stay at least five metres from the bus.

"You can continue once the flashing red lights are off and the stop sign is retracted," said the SAAQ. "Make sure that there are no children on the road and that the way is clear."

Drivers who do not comply could face fines starting at $200 and nine demerit points, while cyclists could be fined $80 or more.

The SAAQ notes people are not required to stop when approaching a school bus in a lane separated by a median.

Montreal police (SPVM) reminds cyclists that they are always obliged to follow the Highway Safety Code, including obeying traffic lights and street signs.

"Cyclists must comply with the same rules of the road that bind motor vehicle drivers," said the force.

There are two exceptions:

  • Cyclists must ride as close as possible to the right side of the roadway and in the same direction as traffic;
  • Cyclists must ride in single file when in groups of two or more.

Non-compliance can lead to fines starting at $80.

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