The Penn-Harris-Board of School Trustees on Monday night (December 14, 2020) unanimously approved the purchase of Stop-Arm Cameras Systems for all district school buses. Currently, 15 out of 135 P-H-M buses have this technology installed.
Since the spring of 2019, following the incident in Rochester in the fall of 2018, P-H-M installed equipment from the dealer on all new buses purchased by P-H-M. When future school buses are traded in, following the district’s bus replacement cycle, this technology will be moved over to the new buses. The total investment for the purchase and installation of these stop arm camera safety features is $363,739 (approximately $3,200 per school bus). P-H-M Administration anticipates the equipment will be received by the end of December and installation would begin in January 2021.
This past October P-H-M Administration met with representatives from the St. Joseph County Police, Mishawaka Police, and St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter to address requirements and protocols for school bus stop-arm violations to be prosecuted. Following that meeting, P-H-M Administration worked with Kerlin Bus Sales and 24-7 Security to review the required specifications and the process for retrofitting P-H-M buses so they would be in compliance.
The 24-7 Security System generates a report with pictures of the violators’ car, license plate, and the location, all of which will be given to police after the violation is reported.
The installation of new equipment will provide completely new camera systems on all buses including higher resolution interior cameras, recorders, and hard drives. This will improve the quality and reliability of all bus videos.
It is the district’s hope that having stop arm cameras installed on all P-H-M buses that it will raise public and increased compliance by drivers, and ultimately safer transportation environment for our students.