Are School Bus Cameras Really Worth It?

Most recently I was in a discussion with a friend about the placement of cameras in school buses.  He asked me if I thought it was a good idea or if it was a waste of money.  I informed my friend that it was worth every penny.

As we continued our conversation I recalled the implementation of cameras in school buses at a local school district in which I was their Director of Campus Safety.

child hit exiting busI recalled that the district’s primary concern was to make certain that students were safe by capturing their entry and exit on the bus, along with capturing those parents who attempted to enter the bus without permission or authorization.  Secondly, the district also wanted to identify any misbehavior and alleged misconduct on the bus committed by either the student or the driver.  Long gone were the days when parents took the word of the administrator and was now placing the burden of proof on the district and its drivers to confirm their statements.

man clinging to busWe had previously experienced parents who tried to board the bus and “discipline” other children who were “being mean” to their child.  We also had students misbehave by throwing objects from the bus onto passing vehicles.  Most of these incidents turned into a “he said, she said” and created a more detailed investigation by having to interview students who were on the bus, or find witnesses for the damage caused by the student.

As we selected the type of cameras to use, we also considered immediate retrieval and review of the video.  In cases when children were missing or failed to arrive at home we could review if the student did in fact exit the bus or not, or may have fallen asleep and was still on the bus.

In selecting a company to partner with your organization to perform your installation many factors must be considered.

  • Where to place the camera in the bus
  • How many cameras should you have
  • Do you need cameras outside of your buses to also capture those drivers who fail to stop for buses stopped and unloading children?
  • How long will the video last?
  • Can you access online for emergencies?
  • Who is designated to review or release the video?

There are many designs and possibilities when you think about the purpose and intentions of camera placement in school buses.  Your design should be a layered approach to bus and student safety. school bus camera

Video capture, communications, and GPS systems should all be considered when you develop your plans.

Let me help you by sitting down with you and using my experience and expertise in developing an all hazards approach to emergency management and bus safety.  Please do not hesitate to contact me via e-mail, message, or visiting my web site at

Be Safe and God Bless.

Author: rdg2428

48 years of Law Enforcement and Safety and Security Services working with school districts, businesses, and churches in developing Emergency Managment responses and protocols

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