Over Christmas Break, North Judson-San Pierre Maintenance Director Wilbur Collins plans to get started on a pilot project related to improving school bus safety.
When NJ-SP School Board members met on Tuesday, Collins explained that the recent bus-related fatalities in surrounding counties prompted him to look into some ways to improve safety and discourage motorists from putting students in danger with unsafe driving practices.
Collins reported that, unfortunately, at least once or twice a month, someone passes the stop arms on their buses while it’s extended. He said it happens most frequently on the highway.
In order to address that problem, Collins said representatives from the security company Vermillion Systems will be coming in over Christmas break to install cameras on the stop arms of three of the newest buses in the school corporation’s fleet.
Collins explained, “The front camera actually takes a few [pictures] as it comes by and the back camera gets the license plate.” He continued, “I’ve talked with Leslie Baker, the incoming Prosecutor, and that’s the information she needs and she’s more than willing to take and use it.”
Collins mentioned that the reps from Vermillion will also be inspecting the rest of the vehicles to see what adjustments have to be made to affix cameras to the stop arms on some of the older models.
He noted that they also have a few MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) buses which don’t have stop arms. However, he said cameras can be installed on the front and back of those.
In addition to the camera installation pilot project, Collins said that the bus routes are being reviewed as another safety precaution. He said school officials are working to make changes wherever they can so right-side only drop-offs and pick-ups can be made at as many stops as possible.