I approached a school bus on a 2 lane road, which was stopped on the opposite side and had the stop sign out and probably flashing lights. I am a new driver to Canada (less than 1 year but full licence) and have never encountered a stopped school bus before - this situation would also not occur in the UK as school children generally use normal public transit where no special laws apply. I slowed right down (literally crawling pace) as I was not sure what the law was for approaching from the opposite direction. As I approached the bus, and as there were no children crossing or looking to cross, I tried mouthing / gesturing to the driver whether I needed to stop, but did not get any sort of response. So I passed very hesitantly and knew I'd made a mistake as the driver who had stopped behind the bus made it clear.
Having searched the MTO site it appears I am likely to receive up to a $2000 fine and certainly 6 points. I feel terrible about this. I have no defense really apart from ignorance of the specific law. The bus driver is certain to report it, especially as I slowed down so much and therefore made it easy for a number plate identification to be made.
Based on the above and personal experience, is there likely to be any lenience in the punishment or a specific approach I should take. I am willing to take a punishment but wondered if I will get the full force of the law.
You could possibly try requesting a reduction in the fine, but in my experience Courts are hesitant to offer breaks on more serious offences. The fact that you were unaware of the law will have no traction in Court.
At the very least it is a stupid mistake I will not be making again.
My question is this - are they right and if so what is the timeframe for expecting a knock at the door? And if it is delivered in person, what is the likelihood that a 100km round trip would be made from a different region to issue this?