Not only that, but the video footage from the Seon cameras

survived 1,400-degree heat—a feature many wouldn’t think to ask about when shopping for the systems. Even Conte, who said he needs cameras that resist summer temperatures in the Sunshine State, was impressed. The open secret among device manufacturers is that security cameras capture countless safety violations each year, from on- board bullying to sexual assault, distracted drivers to disgruntled students. Because the number of violations remains low, rela- tive to the hours of footage collected each day, the biggest issue might be the one student transporters miss. Obtaining reliable footage and sorting through massive video libraries are increas- ingly technical challenges. Today, many buses have four to eight cameras recording

different angles of activity, placed throughout the cabin to capture both the driver and students tucked away behind high seatbacks. It would be impossible for a single person to review every camera’s daily footage. To find what they are looking for, many districts rely on reports from other students and drivers to timestamp footage in the moment. And vendors have developed artificial intelligence solutions to flag incidents, and to analyze and automatically pull footage. “A lot of these automated systems are meant to download clips and that can be alarmed to video-specific rules that you set or video that your request. They can be anywhere from a couple of minutes to a few hours,” explained Mike Guzallis, product man- ager for Radio Engineering Industries (REI). Along with video management, REI developed ARMOR Driver,

which allows management to set parameters for an alarm to go off, or for video to be automatically archived, in response to bus speeds or hard braking. Alarms can be set for all or specific drivers. “You can say what I want to know is are they speeding in school zones? Following too closely? You can set parameters for g forces that will alert you if they’re braking too hard, excessively accelerating, [or] taking a corner too hard,” Guzallis added. While footage was once limited to 10 hours of tape, storage now

easily ranges from 2 to 4 weeks. High-definition footage sucks up more storage but provides a better picture of an incident. REI recommends that school districts maintain at least 2 TB of

cloud storage, but others use more. It’s not about having more storage. It’s about prioritizing what one saves. “If somebody with 100 buses wanted video uploaded every sin-

gle day, you’re going to need a massive amount of storage space along with a lot of infrastructure on the lot to be able to do that,” Guzallis said. Clint Bryer, director of pupil transportation sales for Safety

Vision, said the key to video review is making sure the software allows the administrator to find what they are looking for as fast as possible, so that the user can get back to their other duties. The company’s video management system (VMS) allows users to search for and review the video they are looking for in a timely manner, even while having very little information to start with.

What Readers See

90% of respondents say their school buses are equipped with video camera systems. (Out of 293 responses in a recent STN survey.)

Top 10 most frequently captured safety/ security issues by school bus video: 75% Student bullying/fighting 68% Students standing while the vehicle is in motion 47% Motorists illegally passing bus stops 27% Inappropriate touching or grabbing among students or by a driver or aid 16% Bus drivers aggressively driving, not fully stopping for stop signs or habitually speeding 12% Bus driver using a cell phone or texting while driving 10% Improper loading/unloading procedures 10% Students not wearing seatbelts 7% Bus drivers not wearing seatbelts 6% Bus drivers punishing unruly students by driving recklessly, sharply turning corners or slamming on brakes (Out of 256 responses. Mutiple answers allowed. Total does not equal 100.)

86% of respondents say their school district or contractor has an established policy for what to do with video evidence. (Out of 256 responses in a recent STN survey.)

75% of respondents say school districts or con- tractors are allowed to provide video evidence to police without a court-issued warrant. (Out of 254 responses in a recent STN survey.)

Does your routine daily video feed have the ability to automatically blur faces to protect student privacy, if some of the video has to be released in response to a police request or court order? 51% Yes 37% No 12% I don’t know (Out of 254 responses in a recent STN survey.) 43

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