Ontario Providing $4M to Upgrade School Bus Lighting System

According to the province, approximately 20,000 vehicles will need to be retrofitted to operate this system.

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Bus operators will have access to more than $4 million to help offset the costs of retrofitting Ontario school buses with the eight-lamp amber-red warning system.

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“I am very pleased that Ontario has implemented my private member’s bill, the School Bus Safety Act, and is providing operators with funding for this important safety feature that will help prevent tragic accidents. that too often involve our school-aged children,” said Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga.

Enhanced school bus safety measures are something the Ranger family have been advocating for since tragedy struck their family.

Adam Ranger was killed on February 11, 2000, at the age of five.

The blond haired boy died when a motorist failed to stop for a school bus and hit him as he was crossing Highway 17 in front of his home in Mattawa.

The family launched the “Remember Adam, Stop for the School Bus” campaign. The Ranger family has been instrumental in lobbying municipalities and the province to pass legislation allowing school bus operators to install cameras on buses to record the license plates of vehicles that disobey flashing red lights.

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Regulations drafted by the province and the Department of Transportation now leave it up to each municipality to determine whether they want to install cameras.

Mattawa was the first in Ontario to require school buses to be equipped with cameras, working with BusPatrol, a U.S.-based company that claims to have deployed the most bus stop arm camera systems schools in North America.

School bus operators will be able to apply for grants to equip their buses with a new orange-red eight-lamp warning system. Operators must complete the renovations in time for the 2022-23 school year starting in September.

Adopting this improved lighting system will make it easier for drivers and other road users to recognize when school buses are slowing down and stopping at the side of the road, improving road safety for school bus passengers. .

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The eight-lamp amber-red warning system uses two stages of flashing colored lamps to signal school bus slowing (amber colored lamps) and stopping (red colored lamps) activities to surrounding motorists.

“School Bus Ontario represents over 20,000 buses in the province of Ontario and the eight-lamp amber-red warning system will improve the safety of all passengers on a daily basis, for transportation from home to school” said Rob Murphy, President of School Bus Ontario. .

Additional details regarding the eligibility criteria and application process for this grant program scheduled for May will be communicated to the sector once finalized.

The School Bus Safety Act (2021) received Royal Assent and amended the Highway Traffic Act to require all school buses manufactured on or after January 1, 2005 to operate an orange-red eight-lamp warning system in Ontario starting July 1.

According to the province, approximately 20,000 vehicles will need to be retrofitted to operate this system.

“Grant amounts should range from $110 to $1,630 per vehicle to reflect the complexity of the required renovations.”

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