OTTAWA - The Ottawa Police Service conducted a three-day Back to School Traffic Enforcement Blitz to remind motorists to follow the rules of the road and make the return to school safe for students.

"The start of the school year is a good time to remind drivers to be aware of pedestrians, cyclists, school buses and increased traffic around schools," said Sgt. Mark Gatien of the Traffic Escort and Enforcement Section. "Targeted initiatives such as these help ensure a safe environment for children, parents, school staff and local residents residing near school zones."

Officers from East and West District Traffic, along with members of the Traffic Escort and Enforcement Sections, Community Police Centres, Neighborhoods, School Resources and Patrol monitored driving behaviour in front of or close to school zones at over 30 locations.

In accordance with the zero tolerance in school zones policy, a total of 582 Provincial Offence Notices were issued such things as cell phone use, equipment infractions, failure to stop for a school bus and rolling through or not stopping for stop signs. As well, 20 parking bylaw tickets were given out.

"Distracted driving and failure to park or stop properly in school zones puts the younger and more vulnerable members of our community at risk," said Sgt. Gatien. "Always ensure that you are paying attention and driving appropriately so that kids can get to school safely."

Motorists are reminded that they must stop when school bus lights are activated, whether they are meeting, following or overtaking a bus. The fine for failing to stop for a school bus is $490 fine and six demerit points.

The Ottawa Police Service East District Traffic Section is committed to the safety of its citizens and will continue to conduct traffic enforcement initiatives in school zones throughout the year.

Community members wishing to know more about East District Traffic initiatives can do so by following us on twitter. - @OPSEASTTRAFFIC or @gatienmc.