From the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario's web site:
Whether on a city street, highway or county road, and regardless of the speed limit and the number of lanes, motorists travelling in both directions must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing. A flashing stop arm will swing out while passengers are boarding or leaving the bus. (The only exception: on highways separated by a median, traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop). Once all passengers have boarded, the STOP arm will fold away. Do not start moving until the red lights have stopped flashing and the bus begins to move.
PENALTIES FOR NOT STOPPING
First offence: $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points
Each subsequent offence: $1,000 to $4,000, six demerit points and possible jail time up to six months
Seems clear enough.
For more information, visit the web site listed below (as usual, you'll have to cut-and-paste it into your browser because I still cannot figure out how to create a hot link in this damned TypePad blogging software. I do everything they tell me to do, and all I get is "The URL is invalid and cannot be loaded." If anyone has any clues, please let me know...):
My friend also wonders - if someone DOES stop when the bus is on the opposite side of a median-equipped highway and causes a crash, is he liable?
My guess would be yes, but as my lawyer-father used to say, the sun doesn't rise in the east until the judge says it does.
As for the above photo, it too apparently came from the MTO web site, and I'm guessing it was a set-up. No way they'd be 'lucky' enough for that to occur just when they happened to have their camera handy!