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School Bus Stop Arm or Signal

Yellow school buses are equipped with a stop arm/signal or a flashing safety light.  However according to Traffic Bylaw No. 9900, bus drivers cannot use them within City limits for the following reasons:

  • Allowing children to jaywalk from behind a bus contradicts what students are learning about traffic safety (i.e., to cross at the corner and not to cross the street from between parked cars).
  • Children may rely on stop arms instead of other measures to cross the street, like school patrols, half signals, pedestrian corridors, and painted crosswalks.
  • Children may develop false confidence that all drivers will stop when the stop arm is activated; however, some drivers may not stop when the arm is down.
  • Drivers may not see the stop arm/signal or flashing light in a busy and chaotic urban setting (unlike a rural setting where there are less distractions and vehicles.)

When dropping off your children, take the extra time to drop them off on the sidewalk nearest their school so they don’t have to cross the street. If that’s not possible, you should drop your children off near an intersection so they can cross safely at a location where motorists expect pedestrians to cross.