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Company To Provide Bus Cameras

The school board approved an item that is a win-win for everyone that is not illegally passing school buses or misbehaving on a bus.

At Monday’s regular meeting, the board approved a five-year agreement with Bus Patrol.

The company will provide cameras inside and outside the buses used by the district.

The outside cameras will document instances in which a motorists is in violation of a bus stop arm.

“The district is very concerned about stop arm violations,” Transportation Manager Mike Kiehl said. “The district has received reports of vehicles running the flashing red lights on school buses from both bus drivers and concerned citizens. Most of the time, it’s very difficult for the bus driver to capture the license plate. Occasionally, I have received a picture from a cell phone from a concerned citizen or parent showing a car running the flashing red lights of a school bus. If we are able to roll out Bus Patrol on our buses, the process will be more effective and efficient.”

“The interior cameras will be extremely helpful in researching disciplinary issues on the bus,” Kiehl said. “The system will also have GPS so that the district will be able to verify the time and location a bus was at a stop.”

The district won’t have to make any direct payments from the budget. It will divert dollars to the company from fines levied against violators caught by the cameras.

According to the agreement, of each $300 fine that is generated through Bus Patrol catching someone in violation, $25 will go to local law enforcement, $25 to the School Bus Safety Grant Program, $100 to the school district, and $150 to Bus Patrol as payment for installation and maintenance of its equipment.

The district’s portion of the fines will be used to cover the monthly technology agreement of $85 per bus with the system installed. If there is a shortfall in any month, the district’s portion of violations in future months will be used to cover it.

The board asked for some additional language that would ensure that the district is not on the hook for technology fees at the conclusion of the contract regardless of how it comes to an end, but unanimously approved the agreement pending that language.

There are still some agreements to put into place before the item is fully approved and can go into effect, according to Kiehl.

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