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Connecticut District Upgrades Bus Video System

A small district in Connecticut spent the winter holiday having video cameras installed on its buses. Surveillance cameras were put into each of 14 full-sized buses belonging to Preston Public Schools, and in each of four special education buses. The cost was just less than $26,000, according to board reports. The district has about 430 students.

The district granted the work to low bidder AngelTrax, which sells student bus systems as a turnkey package. The HC460 video surveillance system chosen by the district includes four cameras for each bus and two cameras for each van, as well as a multi-gigabyte hard drive.

On the larger vehicles, one camera faces the driver and bus doors, another monitors the middle of the bus, and the other two are directed to the front third and back third of the bus, respectively. The new gear replaces a lone video camera previously mounted at the front of the buses.

The set-up also offers "virtual synchronized mapping," a proprietary program that uses GPS technology to monitor the precise route of the vehicle and allows administrators to view passengers' exact entrance and exit points, including street names and intersections.

In pushing for the unbudgeted expenditure, Superintendent John Welch told the board, "This project puts student safety first."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.