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Published: Thursday, 6/26/2014

New cameras will be mounted in Perrysburg school buses

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Instant replay is going from sports to the Perrysburg school buses next year as three cameras will help oversee bus rides to and from school as well as field trips and athletic events.

The permanent improvement levy is funding the $48,000 purchase of the equipment, which includes global positioning systems. After a driver returns to the garage, the GPS shows exactly where the bus was and at what time, as well as how fast it traveled. The equipment does not, however, have live GPS function.

“I’‍m excited for the tools that help drivers,” said Ellen Moser, transportation director. “They are going 60 mph on the highway with 70 kids behind them, they can‘‍t watch all of them and the road.”

One camera will be aimed at the buses entrance, Ms. Moser said, to verify driver’‍s stories about parents possibly trying to enter the bus. Another camera will be behind the driver, facing the back of the bus, and the third camera will be on the ceiling at the back of the bus, looking down at the nearest rows of seats. Ms. Moser said most incidents happen at the entry or back of the bus.

The instant replay portion will work to check on the drivers. If someone calls about a bus speeding on a side street, when that bus returns to the garage, the bus speed can be checked. The new cameras can store recordings for up to three weeks.

The new cameras will be installed in July.

If the district wanted to have live GPS, it would need cell phones for each bus, a monthly expense that is not desirable, Ms. Moser said.

“It is a great tool to help overall the bus driver,” Ms. Moser said. “We don’‍t have bad student behavior issues, we‘‍re lucky. But it is an extra tool and they know Big Brother is watching.”

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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