Two buses had previously been equipped with the cameras — which capture video of vehicles that pass stopped school buses with their stop-sign arm extended — back in May.
“This type of technology will help us deter dangerous driving from vulnerable children and youth getting on and off school buses,” Staff Sgt. Marc-Andre Sheehy of the traffic services unit said in a news release on Thursday.
WATCH (Sept. 12, 2018): N.B. school district uses camera to catch drivers failing to stop for school buses
In Ontario, it’s illegal to pass a stopped school bus with its lights flashing. The fine for doing so is $490 and it’s issued to the registered owner of the offending vehicle — even if the owner wasn’t the one behind the wheel at the time, according to police.
Ottawa police say only sworn officers review any footage captured by the camera systems and they can use it to decide whether to issue a ticket or lay charges in an incident.
Each stop-arm camera system includes four cameras, all installed on the exterior of the bus, according to police. Six buses in total now have the cameras.
Officials said they’re hopeful the cameras will help increase awareness among drivers, help police deploy traffic enforcement resources more efficiently and improve safety for students at bus stops.
“Student safety is everyone’s responsibility,” Vicky Kyriaco, general manager and chief administrative officer of the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA), said in the release.
“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.”
OSTA managers and administers all home-to school bus transportation for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board.