Four more school buses being equipped with stop arm cameras in City of Ottawa

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Police Service, the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) and the City of Ottawa are pleased to announce that an additional four school buses are being installed with cameras to operate throughout the city. The buses with the newly-installed cameras will begin operating this week to coincide with the return to school.

The system on each school bus includes four cameras installed on the exterior of the bus, which capture video of vehicles passing stopped school buses.

The video images captured by these cameras can be used by police to lay charges against drivers who fail to stop for school buses that are picking up or dropping off children with their stop arm extended.

These four new buses will add to the two buses with cameras that were launched in May 2019<https://www.ottawapolice.ca/Modules/News/index.aspx?keyword=&date=05/01/2019&page=3&newsId=72cb49db-d9e1-4a35-9b16-bee8d028507c>.

“This is an important program that helps keep school children and youth safe, and I am pleased to know that six buses on our roads will now be equipped with the technology,” said Mayor Jim Watson.

About School Bus Cameras
•       Similar to red light cameras, the registered owner of the vehicle is liable for the offence even if they were not the driver at the time.
•       Sworn members of Ottawa Police review the video footage from the camera systems that have been designed specifically for the detection of this offence.
•       The images sent to the registered vehicle owner represent a portion of a video that was captured during the offence.  The time and location of the offence are accurate and indicated on the face of the infraction notice.
•       These images and videos are stored as evidence and are fully disclosable, should the matter proceed to court.

The fine for passing a stopped school bus with its lights flashing and stop arm extended is $490.

“We are hopeful that additional cameras on the road will make drivers more aware of the absolute necessity to stop when their lights are flashing,” said Diane Deans, Chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board.

“School bus cameras are important when it comes to helping our children stay safe,” said City of Ottawa Transportation Committee Chair, Councillor Stephen Blais. “Parents need to be assured that we are doing everything we can to make sure their children are safe when they get on a school bus.”

Vicky Kyriaco, OSTA General Manager and CAO, stated that “Student safety is everyone’s responsibility.  We are grateful the City and Ottawa Police Service have invested in these camera systems to enforce laws designed to protect our vulnerable children and youth on their way to and from school.”

“School bus cameras give us an opportunity to allocate Traffic Officers to problem areas across the city — identified by bus drivers and public complaints,” said Staff Sergeant Marc-Andre Sheehy, with Ottawa Police Traffic Services. “This type of technology will help us deter dangerous driving from vulnerable children and youth getting on and off school buses.”

For more information about school bus safety, please visit ottawapolice.ca<https://www.ottawapolice.ca/en/safety-and-crime-prevention/school-bus-safety.aspx>.

The Safer Roads Ottawa Program is a leading community partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Transportation Services Department committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all residents in the City of Ottawa through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.

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