A new member of the Merritt RCMP is looking to remind residents that failure to yield for a school bus with its stop sign extended can result in hefty penalties. 

Cst. Agiapal Sandhu recently arrived as a constable at the Merritt RCMP detachment, and said he has noticed multiple incidences of drivers failing to stop for school buses dropping of local students.

“In the short time that I have been in Merritt, I have seen more than a few instances where drivers are ignoring the stop sign on the school bus and proceeding directly through, which is endangering the safety of the children who are getting off the bus,” said Sandhu. 

School buses dropping off students in Merritt and other communities are equipped with high quality cameras which are able to obtain the license plates on any vehicles that fails to yield to the vehicle’s stop sign and flashing red lights.

Failing to stop for a school bus that has its lights on and stop sign extended can result in costly fines and drivers license demerit points. 

“Merritt RCMP take the safety of our children in the community seriously and therefore no warnings will be issued to drivers who fail to stop for a school bus,” noted Sandhu. 

“When a ticket is issued, it is a fine of $368 and three demerit points. Although, subsequent violations of this in a 12-month period can result in the driver being ticketed $368 plus premium penalty point fines, which adds up the more violations you get.”

Offering an example, Sandhu noted a driver who gets five violation tickets for failing to stop for a school bus would receive the base $368 ticket fine, plus an additional $2,160 premium fine, amounting to $2,528 in penalties. 

The Merritt RCMP looks to remind drivers that if the rules around school bus stops aren’t followed, a fine is a guarantee.

“We want to remind drivers when they approach a school bus that has its flashing red stop signs out and active, they are required by law to make a complete stop and wait until the stop signs are deactivated before proceeding,” added Sandhu. 

“Failure to do so will result in the registered owner of the vehicle receiving a violation ticket.”