HISD upgrading camera system on 400 buses


Many HISD buses, just in time for the start of the school year, feature a state of the are camera system that is holding students and driver accountable.

Monica Booker has been a bus driver for 11 years -- well before the large yellow haulers were outfitted with cameras. She knows the ride can get a little rowdy.

"Kids just jumping up and down, moving from seat to seat, hitting, maybe touching on other kids, hitting back and forth," she said.

HISD has not only installed cameras, but is adding more. Its entire fleet of 989 buses have at least three cameras. Over the summer, 400 more buses were upgraded to a seven-camera system. And if the lens, labeled "Safety Vision" aren't enough, Booker will toss out a reminder.

"I'll be like, 'Momma is going to see you!' They don't want mamma to see," Booker said.

The $2,500 system allows HISD to record the entire ride in digital color with audio. They even have night vision.

If there is an incident, the onboard hard drive is pulled and the footage handed over to administrators. The camera's not only record all the kids seats, but also every move the driver makes.

"It allows us to hold each driver accountable for their actions as well as making sure they are providing the safest form of transportation for our students. There is no more guess work the video is here," said Alan Delaney manager of HISD's training and support department.

And Booker says with the camera's serving as a deterrent, she has more time to focus on the road.

"They are more disciplined now because they now the cameras are rolling," she said.

HISD expects to out fit the rest of their buses with the seven-camera system by 2013.

And by the way, the HISD bus fleet was the only school district fleet in the entire country named to Fleet Magazine's "Top 100 Fleet."

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