Jacksonville I.S.D. Says Their School Bus Camera System Has Been Successful - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/19/07-Tyler

Jacksonville I.S.D. Says Their School Bus Camera System Has Been Successful

With Tyler I.S.D. getting ready to install a surveillance system on its school buses, KLTV spoke with a school district that already has cameras in  KLTV wanted to find out what kind of impact the cameras have had on school buses.

Jacksonville ISD's system, unlike the one that will be installed in Tyler, consists of one camera above the bus driver's seat.  School officials and bus drivers think it's a great safety asset. 

"You put 36 to 56 kids on a school bus and you're going to have kids act up," said Jacksonville I.S.D. bus driver Linda Becker. Becker has been with Jacksonville I.S.D. For the past two years. "If something does happen and I don't see it and the children go home and tell their parents, we can pull the tape," said Becker.

Here's how the system works. Once the ignition is turned on, the camera automatically starts recording. There's a VCR mounted inside the bus locked in a box. Transportation Director John H. Keller says the tape comes in handy whenever questions arise, whether it be a child's behavior, a bus driver's driving or an accident. "There have been a lot of circumstances that have been sorted out because of the video and because of the audio," said Keller.

The camera, installed right above the driver's seat, records both video and audio of the entire bus. Keller says the cameras have helped to reduce the number of disciplinary write ups by 50 percent. 

Keller says the district spent about $55,000 installing the system five years ago and is worth every penny.   Keller says the district spends $3,000 a year to maintain the system. That's for the tapes, which they reuse.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

 

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