Student presents bus safety research to Legislative Assembly

Megan Odd, a graduate student in the Master of Arts: Sociology - Applied Social Research program was selected to present her undergraduate honours thesis research, Implementing the Eight-Lamp Amber-Red Advanced Warning Light System on School Buses in Ontario, to Ontario’s Legislative Assembly in support of Bill 246, the Safer School Buses Act.

Approaching the start of her fourth year as a Criminal Justice undergraduate student, Odd was asked by the department’s placement coordinator, Kindra McMillan, to participate in a research placement opportunity with Cst. Shona Camirand and the North Bay Ontario Provincial Police. Camirand and the North Bay OPP were searching for a student to conduct research in partnership with them and a local school bus company to implement the eight-lamp, amber-red advanced warning light system on school buses across Ontario.

“I jumped at the opportunity to not only gain valuable research experience, but to hopefully have a chance at creating meaningful policy change,” said Odd, regarding the research project. “My supervisor for this project, Dr. Amir Erfani, has guided me since second year to help me pursue my career goal of becoming a crime data analyst. We both felt that this was a perfect step toward achieving that.” 

Bill 246, the Safer School Buses Act was introduced on February 16 by Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Mike Harris Jr. and has since passed second reading with support from all parties. Bill 246 was also brought before the Standing Committee on Justice Policy for Public Hearings on March 26, where Odd had the chance to speak directly to MPPs and share her research results.

Bill 246 proposes to amend section 175 of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, to require all school buses manufactured after January 1, 2005 to be equipped with the amber-red advanced warning light system by September, 2022.

The Hansard link to the second hearing of Bill 246 can be found here