The Cowichan Valley School District has completed installation of cameras on its entire fleet of buses.
The interior cameras are an added safety measure for contact tracing inside the bus while the exterior cameras will document traffic infractions that continue to put students and staff at risk.
The purchase of the camera system was made possible as part of the Government of Canada Safe Return to Class Fund. Contact tracing investigators now have the ability to request detailed information about students and staff who may interact on the bus. The cameras provide important information about mask wearing, length of interactions and distance between riders.
In addition to four interior cameras, the seven-point system has three exterior cameras. These cameras are instrumental in identifying drivers who disobey the warning and stop lights on buses. Video of infractions can now be shared with the RCMP to identify vehicles and take enforcement action. Since the installation of the cameras during spring break, 22 incidents of disobeying the stop sign have been recorded.
“The addition of the interior and exterior cameras on our buses provide peace of mind for students and staff alike,” noted Candace Spilsbury, board of education chair for the Cowichan Valley School District. “We are grateful that the grant from the Government of Canada has allowed us to enhance our safety features for everyone who rides our buses.
“The North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP will be working closely with the Cowichan Valley School District with the same goal: to keep our children safe while being transported to and from school. Using this new technology, it will be easier to bring enforcement action to those that persist in passing school buses using their stop equipment, breaking the law and putting our children in danger.”
The camera system was purchased and installed at a cost of $150,000 and has been operational for more than three weeks.