Video cameras being tested on Bismarck school buses

Published: Aug. 30, 2017 at 5:38 PM CDT
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It seems you can't go anywhere these days without a surveillance camera tracking your every move.

Stores, malls, parking lots, traffic lights and home security systems all record our movements.

For now school buses in Bismarck aren't following the trend.

Not one, not two, but three video cameras are being tested on Bismarck School buses.

"This bus camera system is basically designed to capture stop arm violations. This is our stop arm, and there's actually a camera installed right here," said Darrin Anderson, transportation manager at Harlows.

The stop arm camera is just one of three on this bus, there's also a camera pointed at the door to keep track of who's boarding the vehicle, and one pointed out front to record accidents and what's going on in the driver's seat.

"You know, as the state changes and the population changes, technology changes, I expect to see more cameras on buses. I think it's a great tool for not only bussing companies, but teachers, councilors, principals, and superintendents," said Anderson.

There are camera systems on five of the buses in the Harlows bus fleet, but none of the cameras point at the students.

"The school board sets policies. I'm sure this has been a discussion, or the topic of a discussion over the years, but at this point the school board has never decided to put cameras in place to actually observe and monitor students," said Anderson.

There are around 80 buses that transport students for Bismarck, there are no plans right now to install cameras in all of them.

Each bus camera system costs around $3,000.