Cameras on School Buses

August is Back to School Awareness Month. As teachers develop their lesson plans and prepare the classroom for a season of learning, a big concern will always be the safety of the students in and out of school.

Many schools have installed cameras on their school buses. And for a good reason, this surveillance system ensures the safety and security of the passengers while inside and outside the bus, or on their way to and from school. This is possible in the following ways.

1. Track Passenger Behavior

While very unfortunate, bullying has become commonplace and a big concern for parents, teachers, and school administrators. Installing surveillance cameras in school buses provides a great way to track the behavior of the passengers.

Based on the footage captured, the relevant parties can make an informed decision on allegations of bullying. The photo and video evidence captured on the camera will help identify the perpetrators of the bullying and inform what appropriate action to take.

2. Monitor Driver Actions

Accidents and near-accidents often occur due to the actions and inactions of the drivers. In the case of school buses, the installed cameras can provide footage to help determine whether or not the school bus driver was at fault during such incidents. It can confirm or dispute the driver’s account of events.

3. Monitor Actions of Other Road Users

Apart from the school bus driver’s actions, the safety of students and other passengers on the bus depends on other road users.

According to Michigan Law, drivers who unlawfully drive around a school bus that has stopped and has its red lights flashing will be held accountable for a civil infraction. These drivers will pay a fine and may even face a jail term. Other drivers must stop at least 20 feet away from a stopped school bus with its flashing lights on.

Equipping school buses with a camera system on the stop arm makes it easier to identify the drivers who will act in violation of Michigan law. The footage will clearly show who these drivers are, making the process of tracking them down and ticketing them much easier.

4. Monitor Entry into the Bus

Unauthorized persons entering a school bus can pose a risk to the safety and security of the students and other passengers on the school bus. People authorized to be on the bus include the students, teachers, and other employees of the school, an official chaperone, and any other person authorized by the bus driver and the school administration.

An amendment to the Pupil Transportation Act prohibits unauthorized individuals from entering a school bus. The only exceptions would be where said persons get explicit authorization from the driver. The surveillance cameras will capture any such unauthorized entries for further action.

5. Track Bus Movements

Each school bus has an assigned route. A combination of a camera security system and GPS tracking helps to provide real-time information on the location of the bus. Deviations are always a concern, and thanks to the security systems in place, the school administration or any other parties can act quickly and try to get in touch with the driver to find out the reason for deviating from the assigned route. If need be, law enforcement officials will get involved to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Safety First

Parents, school officials, and transportation companies all share the common interest of ensuring the safety of those on board school buses. Install a live video fleet camera, and have a framework to implement all safety laws to bolster your student’s security and ensure the rides on the bus to and from school are without incident.