Drivers Who Illegally Pass School Buses in Parts of Canada Now Risk Losing Their License /

Illegally passing a school bus not only puts children in danger—it can also cost motorists their license, per a new law passed in Prince Edward Island, Canada, CBC reports.

Driving around a school bus stopped on the road is illegal throughout the country, but the consequences vary by province. Prince Edward Island already had some of the strictest penalties in Canada for the crime, typically fining drivers between CDN $1000 and $5000 (USD $757 to $3785) prior to these new measures.

Now, any driver who tries sneaking ahead of a school bus making a stop will automatically be fined CDN $5000. They will also lose their license for three months, and the only way to get it back is by meeting with highway safety officials, paying a $100 reinstatement fee, and agreeing to take a defensive driving course within six months of regaining their driving privileges.

Laws preventing cars from passing school buses with their stop signs extended are meant to protect children as they board and exit the bus, and according to bus drivers, they're often ignored. When motorists are reckless, children's lives are put at risk—as was the case this past October when a car nearly hit a Prince Edward Island student trying to board her bus. That incident and others like it pushed legislators to pass the harsher penalties, which go into effect on Saturday, December 8.

[h/t CBC]