The Ann Arbor (Michigan) school district plans to install five security video cameras inside each of its 131 school buses.
The Ann Arbor News reports that in a 4-3 vote, the Ann Arbor School Board approved purchase of the cameras for $361,514, using State of Michigan School Safety and Mental Health grant funds.
Cameras installed inside the district’s existing bus fleet are dated an do not always provide accurate coverage, according to board documents.
The district will install four wide-angle cameras on each bus to provide 180-degree video coverage from the driver’s seat to the back seats and outside perimeter of the buses. The cameras have high-definition resolution and night vision recording ability.
Additionally, each bus is being equipped with one stop-arm dual-lens camera with integrated GPS. This camera feature automatically flags vehicles that do not stop for buses when the flashers and stop arm are activated.
Cameras will operate with WiFi with constant system monitoring to ensure the cameras are operational and that recording interruptions or missing video of an important event are minimized.
The district has faced scrutiny for its handling of a 2021 bus incident; a parent alleged her autistic son was physically and verbally abused by a bus aide, and the district failed to review footage of the incident for five weeks.