Thanks to the Washington County Riverboat Foundation, five more of the Washington Community Schools District's buses were fitted with a digital camera system. The system is manufactured by Radio Engineering Industries, of Omaha, NE.
The system provides three interior camera views: front, rear, and the entrance door. An exterior camera is mounted on the side of the bus to catch stop arm violators. Every camera has infra-red technology for low light conditions, and all three interior cameras are equipped with microphones to record sound.
With the new digital recording capabilities, the camera system runs the entire time the bus is running. They are capable of storing up to two weeks worth of route video. All video is captured on a hard drive mounted in the bus. Drivers have a button they can use to mark events that may need to be reviewed at a later time by administration. This helps to quickly find events that have happened on the bus. The system also has sensors that record when turn signals are used, doors are opened, brakes applied, the 8-way light system is activated, and the stop arm is extended.
Woody Harden, Transportation Director for the district, says the systems have worked well for the district. "On the buses with these systems, every video is a clear, high quality video that provides us with information that we may need from a bus route. They are equipped with G.P.S. so we can record road speed, latitude & longitude, and time." They also have proved very useful in documenting daily events. According to Harden, "the systems have helped us to answer questions and concerns from the public, parental concerns, and deal with student to student issues. We as an entire transportation department are very grateful to the Washington County Riverboat Foundation to have received this grant for the camera systems. They are a tremendous asset to our department."
The $11,200.00 grant was awarded spring of 2009 and the equipment was ordered in May. The equipment was received in late July and installation started in mid August. The project was completed in late February. The total cost for this project was $14,000.00.