School District 63 Getting Cameras On Buses
They were planned even before the accident in which a driver suffering from a medical malady lost control and hit six cars in an unusual accident.
Cameras will be mounted inside school buses next year on East Maine School District 63 routes. Students in parts of Niles, Des Plaines, Morton Grove, Glenview and Park Ridge attend the district's schools and ride the buses.
At its Feb. 6 board meeting, the district renewed its contract for next school year with school bus company Septran, Inc. The contract is for $1,006,000, plus the increase of $20,120, or 2.0 percent.
A letter from Septran president Robert Hach to the district notes the company plans to install cameras in all school buses transporting District 63 students as of the 2013-14 school year. A GPS tracking system will also be installed so that the locations of buses can be monitored.
That development was in the works before a Septran driver, who was suffering from a medical condition, lost control of her bus and hit six cars while traveling down Oakton Street the afternoon of Jan. 29.
John Jekot, a District 63 school board member, said Septran will place three cameras in each bus. One will face outward, essentially capturing what the driver sees; one will be mounted in the front of the bus and capture images of the riders in the seats, and the third will be mounted in the rear of the bus but forward-facing, capturing images of the riders in the seats.
Septran hoped to have a video feed in case there were ever any accidents or incidents, Jekot said. He acknowledged the video could also be used to capture incidents of bullying.