Counties to look at bus stop-arm cameras

CORNWALL – SDG Counties will investigate implementing stop-arm cameras on school buses following a call for action by the Upper Canada District School Board made late last year.

Councillor Steven Byvelds (South Dundas) tabled a motion calling for the Counties’ transportation department to look into what is needed to mandate stop-arm cameras on all school buses operating in SDG.

“This is a motion to get the wheels in motion,” Byvelds told council saying that he and council need more information on the legislation.

Byvelds spoke briefly of a fatality that happened in 1990 where a driver went past a stopped bus on then-Highway 31 near Williamsburg, killing a student who was crossing the road. One of Byvelds’ children was on that bus.

“Anything we can do to slow these drivers down, to make them aware, or make them pay for an issue they should be stopping for is something I think we should at least be looking at,” he said.

In December 2021, the UCDSB passed a motion by Trustee William Macpherson calling on the four upper-tier municipal governments the board serves to require stop-arm cameras on buses.

SDG is the first upper-tier municipality to take up that call. The UCDSB operates in Lanark, Leeds-Grenville, and Prescott-Russell counties as well.

The province updated legislation to allow stop-arm cameras on buses and be treated similar to a red light camera at an intersection.

The update to the Provincial Offences Act requires upper and single tier municipalities to pass a bylaw to mandate the cameras and process fines for any offence.

Counties council unanimously supported the motion. SDG staff will bring a report back to council later this year.

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