New rules at school crossings in effect now

MANITOULIN—As of January, Ontario’s law regarding school crossings where a crossing guard is present has changed with higher fines for drivers, including cyclists, who break the law. This effects three communities on Manitoulin: Mindemoya, Little Current and Wikwemikong.

Since the start of the year, drivers (including cyclists) must stop and yield the whole roadway at: pedestrian crossovers and at school crossings where there is a crossing guard displaying a school crossing stop sign. Drivers cannot proceed when students have only passed by the front of their vehicle but are still in the process of crossing the highway.

These rules apply at pedestrian crossovers identified with specific signs, road markings and lights. The new rules do not apply to pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, unless a school crossing guard is present. On Manitoulin, Little Current, Wikwemikong and Mindemoya have school crossings with crossing guards.

The new law, part of Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, also provides municipal road authorities the ability to install new types of pedestrian crossovers on low speed, low volume roads in addition to the existing crossovers.

Only when pedestrians and school crossing guards are safely on the sidewalk can drivers and cyclists proceed. Drivers and cyclists may face a fine in the range of $150 to $500 and could face a loss of three demerit points. Fines will be doubled in community safety zones.