Washington Community Schools installs stop-arm cameras on buses

The cameras will record cars as they pass deployed stop arms.

Posted: Jul 8, 2019 5:56 PM

WASHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) - About once a day during the school year a car will pass a stop arm in the Washington school district. Bus driver Dennis Mcdannald says it is hard to keep an eye out for trouble.

McDannald explains, "I remember my first one surprised me. I wasn't ready for it. It was wild how fast they happen and how many things are going on at the same time."

McDannald says keeping his kids safe is his first priority. In the past, this means getting a violator's license plate number could be difficult.

McDannald says, "On my bus. Some of the older students in the back I had a code word, when I would yell out 'get em' they would turn around start trying to look for the license plate number."

Getting an offender's license plate number will soon not be a problem.

Bus mechanic David Alford says, "Over here we've got two cameras. We've got a rear-facing camera that will catch the license plate as they drive by. We've got the forward facing camera that will catch the driver's picture as they are coming so that we can see who is driving."

The corporation is retrofitting its on-board bus cameras to incorporate stop-arm cameras. All in order to help cut down on the number of violations.

Transportation Director Corey Bouchie says, "Adding the cameras hopefully makes our community more aware that this is a problem. This is going on we need everybody's attention while the kids are boarding and offloading the buses."

The cameras cost Washington Community Schools roughly $25,000. Mcdannald says that is money well spent.

McDannald says, "I'm super excited. I think it's a win for the school system. It's a win for each bus. At the end of the day, my job is just to safely get kids to school and get them home from school."

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