School bus safety week this year has one major focus:  getting drivers to stop for buses that have their red signals flashing.

OPP Const. Michelle Simard says if you’re on the road in early morning or late afternoon, leave yourself extra time so you don’t have to fly by a bus when it’s loading or unloading kids.

Fines can range from $400 to $2,000.

“So it depends. For first offence, second offence, third offence, there’s different penalties,” Simard notes. “It’s still a pretty hefty fine. Four-hundred dollars and the demerit points that go along with that.”

But more important than that is that it’s dangerous.

“These buses carry precious cargo,” the officer remarks. “This precious cargo is often our family members, our little family members that we’re sending off to school for eight hours a day.”

Simard says if you spot a driver passing a bus and can safely get a licence number, you should report it to police.