Not passing school buses is a driving standard everyone should know, and yet, is a rule that’s often broken. But that could change with new plans from the Ministry of Transportation to tighten rules.

Transportation Minister Paula Biggar announced this week that drivers who illegally pass school buses will lose their licenses, a significant amount of demerit points and could also face a fine.

Failing to stop for a school bus could now result in 12 demerit points and a 3- month drivers license suspension, plus a $5,000 fine. The punishment was originally a fine of $1,000 and eight demerit points with a maximum $5,000 fine.

“Drivers will be on probation,” says Beggar. “And if they receive any demerit points within a year of reinsatement, their license will be suspended.”

For a suspended license to be re-instated, drivers will need to meet with highway safety officials, pay a $100 reinstatement fee and take a defensive driving course within six months of getting their license back.

Beggar says other changes could be coming to help bolster the ministry’s enforcement measures, including raising demerit points for drivers using hand-held devices while driving.