Tuesday is the first day of school and for drivers that means watching for and stopping for the school bus.
“20 years after Adam passed, we still have to ask people to stop for a giant yellow vehicle with red flashing lights and a stop sign that says stop,” says Pierre Ranger, chair of the Let’s Remember Adam Campaign. “I’m not sure how to get this message out any clearer but we have to try something. We still firmly believe stop arm cameras are the solution.”
Ranger’s brother Adam was killed in February 2000 when a truck failed to stop for his school bus in Mattawa.
He says Mattawa is the only community in Ontario that has stop-arms cameras on its buses.
“We know that there are other communities testing and trying them,” he says. “There are over 40,000 cameras in the U.S. These systems work. We just need more municipalities to tell the MTO or tell the camera companies that they want them too.”
Ranger says it should be the industry standard.
Overall, he says kids are excited to get back to school and aren’t necessarily paying attention so it’s up to drivers to pay that extra attention.
“Slow down. Don’t be distracted. Take your time and be patient,” Ranger says. “And always stop for those school buses.”
He adds the implementation of the advanced amber lights on school buses last year has made it easier for drivers to know the bus is about to stop.
Area police say fines for not stopping for a school bus that has its red lights flashing and/or its stop sign arm unfolded, range between $400 and $2000, with six demerit points for your first offence.
They also say registered owners can be fined even if they aren’t driving the vehicle at the time.