An area school district is making a big investment to add extra safety measures to its transportation services.
The State College Area School District’s board voted unanimously Monday night to add more cameras to school buses. The district will purchase the cameras to equip 55 district-owned and contracted school buses, which is just over half of their fleet.
The cameras will provide both video and audio surveillance footage.
The addition will cost the district $132,042.65, which includes the hardware, installation and shipping costs.
Discussion has been ongoing for a couple of years now about adding cameras. District officials said they will help increase safety and security for students and staff and will help “maintain discipline” on the buses.
Right now, there are a limited number of buses that already have cameras on them. Administrators said they don’t use the equipment very often, but there have been several instances when they’ve had to.
“Not necessarily in this district, but in other districts, there have been times when other individuals parents have attempted to come on buses, so we’ve had that video for surveillance,” Randy Brown, District Business Administrator, said. “It also sometimes helps with other traffic patterns and issues that are going on, such as accidents, while the drivers are out making their transportation runs.”
They’ll install the first round of cameras on the buses that have the longest round-trips each day. Installation will begin immediately once the equipment arrives. Officials said the second round of cameras will be purchased in the next budget year and should be installed by next school year.