Islanders who illegally pass a school bus will soon lose their licence as the Prince Edward Island government ramps up efforts to prevent dangerous and distracted driving.

The provincial government says, as of Dec. 8, drivers who fail to stop for a school bus that has its red flashing lights activated will lose their licence for three months, in addition to facing a fine of up to $5,000. It will also result in 12 demerit points, up from eight points.

“We all have a role to play in keeping children safe on their way to school,” said Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Paula Biggar. “This change means that drivers who ignore this law are not allowed on Island roads.”

In order for a driver’s licence to be reinstated, they must meet with Highway Safety, pay a $100 reinstatement fee, and take a defensive driving course within six months.

The government says it is exploring other prevention and enforcement options, such as adding new technology and safety features on school buses, as well as further legislative amendments.