School bus camera system catches dangerous drivers

NEISD pilot program installs 7 cameras on bus


SAN ANTONIO – If implemented, motorists not stopping for school buses with flashing lights could have the video used as evidence against them.

At first glance, bus No. 061 looks like a normal NEISD school bus.

And it is, with one minor exception: it's equipped with seven cameras on its driver's side exterior.

The cameras are there to record drivers who don't stop when the bus is stopped with its red lights flashing.

It's part of a pilot program the district started last fall.

A school bus is one of the safest place your child can be, but it's when they get off the bus that things can get dangerous.

"We've been hearing from bus drivers (about dangerous drivers ignoring the stop lights) for years, but this is a way we could actually document it, prove it, and show it to others to express how big of a problem this is," said Aubrey Chancellor, spokesperson for NEISD.

The numbers of motorists the cameras caught violating the law are frightening.

"Over a 30-day period, we had more than 40 different instances of cars whizzing by these buses when they weren't supposed to, and that was just on two buses we had these cameras, " Chancellor said.

The district has now forwarded their data, along with a letter of recommendation that the city start using the video recorded by the cameras as evidence, to implement civil penalties to violators in the future.

"If city council were to support this, and if SAPD did get on board, I think we would sign up every one of our buses, because we know that this will be a deterrent," Chancellor said.

The program doesn't cost the district a dime.

In fact, the district would receive a portion of the fines, should they be levied in the future.

A video carousel is embedded here.