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School Bus Surveillance Cameras Implemented for Acton-Boxborough

A new plan to ensure childrens' safety and well-being on their rides to and from school is now in place.

Acton-Boxborough school buses are now equipped with surveillance cameras to ensure the safety of your children, to monitor the bus drivers accountability, and to curb bullying.

According to J.D. Head, Acton-Boxborough Facilities & Transportation Director, 30 new buses, leased for the next five years, will feature four monitoring cameras capturing outside traffic activity and inside bus activity. There will be no audio recording from any of the cameras for legal reasons.

"The cameras are a natural trend in technology for the vehicle," said Head. "At least once a day there is some kind of a phone call that comes into the Transportation Department that is in one way or another a he said she said type of event. So what this system does is provides some data points to help get to a more accurate portrayal of the true events."

It's not so much that there is a need to keep track of bullying on the bus more so than there is a need to keep track of traffic complaints, i.e., cars not obeying the stop sign on the buses and speeding.

Aside from monitoring possible deviant behavior from students on the bus, the cameras will monitor the bus drivers actions, such as speed and traffic stops.

"We do want to hold all employees accountable, not that we feel like our drivers are lacking accountability," said Head.

Head said this system will alleviate the amount of efforts from the Transportation Department and the Police Department to investigative complaints.

Cliff Larsen August 28, 2012 at 11:42 PM
I don't particularly like this -- perhaps because the reasons given for its deployment seem somewhat disingenuous. Perhaps because it's not clear who gets access to the videos. I bet that if it weren't illegal to record audio without permission, that would be recorded, too. First, I don't see how cameras can 'ensure the safety of our children'. At best, they can be used after a child has been victimized to help find the perpetrator. But 'for the safety of our children' is always a reason that gets people to nod their heads and accept a new measure which provides no such thing. Second, to monitor the bus drivers accountability seems a possible use, but the boss they're already accountable. Third, to curb bullying which again the boss says there's no need to keep track of.
Mike Holmquist August 29, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Not just to monitor the bus driver's accountability but the accountability of your children. Like the article said it's a measure to curb the "he said she said" factor. I'm sure if you were a bus driver you'd appreciate it plenty.

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