Starting today (November 4), North Bay OPP will be rolling out a patrol enforcing speeding, and obeying red flashing lights on buses during school bus hours.

The patrol will run until November 15 and feature an increase in police presence around bus routes and identified hotspots.

Since school began in September, the North Bay OPP has received 21 traffic complaints about vehicles not stopping for school buses. In the same time frame from last year, the OPP investigated nine such incidents.

The Highway Traffic Act states that motorists traveling in both directions must stop for a stopped school bus that has its overhead red signal lights flashing, and the arm does not need to be extended. Drivers are not to continue until the lights on the bus have stopped flashing. Penalties include fines from $400 to $4000 and six demerit points upon conviction.

Vehicle owners can also see themselves charged if their vehicle illegally passes a school bus, regardless of who the driver was at the time.

This patrol also brings to mind the “Let’s Remember Adam” campaign, which is a charitable organization that was created after the death of Adam Ranger in 2000. Five-year-old Adam was accompanied by his older brother Alex while exiting a school bus at the end of his school day when he was struck and killed on Highway 17 near Mattawa in front of the family’s homestead.

Staff Sergeant Bill McMullen, Detachment Commander of the North Bay OPP, advises that “Our goal is to educate the public and reduce the number of complaints involving vehicles that fail to stop for a school bus with the red overhead lights activated. Working in partnership with the Let’s Remember Adam campaign, we aim to make highways safer for all children riding school buses, to prevent any more tragedies from happening.”