Enhancing Road Safety: New Brunswick to Introduce Cameras on School Bus Stop Arms

The Government of New Brunswick (GNB) is taking a significant stride towards ensuring the safety of its students by announcing a strategic investment in stop-arm cameras for school buses. This initiative addresses a critical concern: protecting students while they travel to and from school. Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Bill Hogan underlined the importance of the program, emphasizing its role in elevating student safety and well-being.

As each school year unfolds, countless young minds embark on their daily journey using school buses as their means of transportation. With this investment in the expansion of the school bus camera program, the GNB is committed to making a tangible difference in student safety. Minister Hogan highlighted that this initiative holds the potential to be a game-changer in fostering a secure environment for the province’s school-going children.

One of the primary concerns this investment addresses is the alarming trend of vehicles overtaking stopped school buses, putting students’ lives at grave risk, particularly when crossing the street. The stop-arm cameras are designed to record instances where a driver unlawfully passes a school bus with its stop arm extended and warning lights flashing. This technology aims to deter such dangerous behaviour and serves as concrete evidence in the event of an incident.

The provincial government has chosen Nova Communications, a subsidiary of Rock Networks, as the supplier for these advanced stop-arm cameras. The procurement agreement, valued at up to $690,000, invests in cutting-edge technology and affirms the government’s commitment to supporting local businesses. Service New Brunswick Minister, Mary Wilson, commended this approach, highlighting the mutual benefits of ensuring student safety and contributing to the region’s economic growth. Supporting local suppliers creates job opportunities and strengthens New Brunswick’s economy and various communities.

The importance of bolstering local businesses is evident in the government’s record of awarding contracts to local suppliers. In the preceding fiscal year (2022-23), 81 percent of the total value of goods, services, and construction contracts were awarded to local suppliers. This translated to approximately $2.3 billion in spending, a substantial contribution of $1.1 billion to the province’s gross domestic product, and an impressive $133.4 million in employment income. This trend has continued into the current fiscal year, with local suppliers receiving 91 percent of the contract value.

As we embrace technological innovations to enhance road safety, we recognize that the well-being of our children is a collective responsibility. By prioritizing school bus safety, we not only protect the youngest members of our community but also foster a culture of vigilance and care that resonates far beyond the school bus stop.