With the school year underway, OPP across Cottage Country is reminding drivers to use caution in school zones and around buses.

In an effort to keep kids safe, OPP is asking motorists to pay close attention when meeting or following a school bus.

It’s important to remain stopped until the school bus stop arm retracts and the overhead red lights have stopped flashing.

Drivers cannot start moving until the red lights have stopped flashing, the stop arm has been retracted and the bus has started to move.

OPP says that Ontario law requires vehicles to stop 20 meters behind the bus and when meeting a school bus in oncoming traffic, vehicles must stop a safe distance to allow students to cross well ahead of the bus bumper.

Drivers who fail to comply with this face fines from $400-$2,000 and six demerit points.

Any offense following this can costs you anywhere from $1,000-$4,000 in fines as well as possible imprisonment.

This law also includes charging vehicle owners if their car illegally passes a stopped bus – even if the owner is not in the vehicle.

Patience is encouraged as many kids are excited to be back in school and OPP says as a result, they may need extra time boarding and departing the bus.