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Getting More from Your School Bus Surveillance Solutions

Value is the touchstone driving nearly every consumer buying decision. Whether the product or service is purchased for professional or personal use, gaining a better return on investment is consistently top of mind.

School bus surveillance solutions are no exception. Chances are, you’ve carefully considered their value for monitoring bullying, vandalism, stop-arm violations, assault, and student ridership. But did you know your camera systems may also be utilized in unconventional ways to enhance school and community safety? Check out some of the alternative uses listed below.

Contact Tracing

children in bus seat look back

A standard practice for disease control since the 1920s, contact tracing has regained attention recently for its capacity to minimize the spread of COVID-19. More and more school districts are now harnessing the power of their school bus surveillance systems for this very purpose.

If a student or driver has tested positive for the virus, the surveillance views or video footage may be used to trace their path to see those nearby. The individuals may then be notified about possible exposure, testing or quarantine, if warranted. Furthermore, video footage is readily available if proof is needed to verify contact or proximity to affected individuals.

Drew Batten, sales manager at REI®, a transportation solutions provider, states, “In addition to contact tracing for COVID-19, we have had customers use their cameras to help ensure students are adhering to mask requirements, as stated by the CDC for all public transportation at the start of the new school year.”

Weather-Related Bus Re-Routing

A road closed sign in the middle of a roadway in Oakville near St. Louis, Missouri

With assistance from advanced fleet management software and its real-time viewing capabilities, surveillance systems may aid in bus re-routing due to flooding, torrential rains, severe storms, high winds, and other inclement conditions.

The software’s live views, GPS coordinates, and route maps enable officials to track the current and future locations of every bus, along with the current weather conditions surrounding each. Administration is then able to look ahead and instruct drivers to take alternate routes to avoid potentially dangerous situations.

Added Student Ridership Details

Student ridership solutions confirm the boardings and departures of students on particular buses, but your surveillance systems can provide even more details about student locations.

Surveillance systems, in conjunction with fleet management software, provide real-time views of students after they exit buses. Views of the directions they are heading or their entries into nearby vehicles or homes may be seen and captured by wide-angle interior or exterior surveillance cameras. Crucial findings about students’ whereabouts may be obtained and submitted to law enforcement, if needed.

Assistance in Accident Investigations

Roseburg Oregon - October 16, 2012: Police cars and school buses at an accident scene at the entrance of the High School loading zone.

If accidents or incidents unrelated to your district occur in the vicinity of your fleet’s buses, your surveillance cameras and DVRs may have captured the footage, details and proof needed to aid law enforcement investigations.

Wide-angle, high-definition cameras cover large areas and, like their counterparts mounted on intersection stoplights, can provide equally reliable surveillance footage to strengthen community safety.

Assistance in Locating Individuals or Vehicles

Wide-view cameras mounted inside and outside your school buses may help find missing or wanted individuals and vehicles not related to your district. If law enforcement announces that they are looking for individuals or vehicles in particular areas, the real-time surveillance views, or footage from your buses in those areas may be able to provide timely assistance. Law enforcement may be notified quickly, enabling their swift identification and action.

Assistance for Emergency and Medical Personnel

When health emergencies happen in and around your school buses, surveillance cameras and video can provide vital details for emergency and medical personnel. Using your system’s views and footage, it is likely you’ll be able to provide the causes of the incidents, times of occurrences, current conditions of the individuals, first aid details and other essential information.

Even more, if your system is integrated with fleet management software, you’ll have access to real-time views. With these real-time views, you’ll be to watch the progression of events, relay important information to first responders, assist in first-aid efforts, and act as a liaison between the bus and emergency personnel, if requested.

“Quality surveillance systems are truly the extra set of eyes that districts need to promote safe environments for students, drivers and communities in general. Their capacity to capture events and advance safety with minimal effort by administration is invaluable,” adds Batten. “The idea is to work smarter, not harder.”

October 2021

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