Resolution advocates for stop arm cameras

File photo

MORRISBURG – Looking to address a safety issue with school buses back on the road this fall, South Dundas council approved a resolution calling for the province to adopt mandatory school bus stop arm cameras.

The resolution was brought forward by councillor Tom Smyth at the September 11 South Dundas council meeting.

Smyth’s resolution followed similar calls by the Upper Canada District School Board in December 2021 for stop arm cameras to be adopted in the province.

Upper-tier and single-tier municipalities in the province have had the power through the Safer School Zone Act to require the use of stop arm cameras and other safety equipment for improving safety when a school bus is stopped.

A campaign based in Mattawa by the Ranger family called “Let’s Remember Adam” has advocated for 20 years to have stop arm cameras added to school buses in Ontario. Several municipalities including Mattawa have adopted this, while other municipalities like Peel Region are running pilot programs.

SDG Counties asked for its transportation department to study implementing stop arm cameras in February 2022.

A report from staff a month later underlined challenges due to the two bus consortiums that serve SDG Counties also serving adjacent upper-tier and separated municipalities, a lack of implementation data because the changes under the legislation are recent and not widely adopted yet, and a need to update SDG’s Administrative Monetary Penalties for automated enforcement measures.

Currently, Provincial Offences – as operated by SDG Counties – is not set up for dealing with photo radar and other forms of automated enforcement. Further study was recommended and no further reports have been tabled at council.

Smyth’s resolution called on the province to implement stop arm cameras in 2023-24 and for the province to underwrite installation and ongoing annual costs for small and rural municipalities.
South Dundas council passed the resolution with no discussion. Mayor Jason Broad thanked Smyth for bringing the resolution forward.

The resolution will be sent to Premier Doug Ford and various provincial ministers. It did not call for the approved motion to be circulated to neighbouring municipalities for support.

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