When an incident happens on the bus, the last thing any transportation director wants to hear is that their on-board video system didn’t capture it. Which is why reliability should be at the top of your list when choosing a school bus camera system. DVR systems must be consistent for bus cameras to capture the footage needed of potential student passenger and driver safety issues.
Seon has worked hard to become the world’s leader in mobile surveillance** through our relentless focus on reliability. We work with thousands of school districts and school bus contractors across North America to address safety concerns on-board and outside of the school bus. One problem that Seon has been trying to help resolve is stop-arm violation through the use of stop-arm cameras to record the license plates of vehicles illegally passing the bus. When school districts are looking into putting stop-arm cameras on their buses, reliability is the key to ensuring every stop-arm violation is captured.
“Capturing the license plates of vehicles illegally passing a school bus is essential and the most important factors in ensuring their reliability are camera position and image clarity,” says Peter Simmons, Director of Marketing at Seon. “Even if you install the cameras in the right position, the camera must be designed to provide high-resolution images, clear enough to capture the license plates of vehicles passing at potentially high speeds.”
Not just any camera can be mounted outdoors to capture details like a license plate number. It must be an outdoor-rated camera, built to stand up to extreme humidity or the pressure of a bus wash. The camera must also have at least a 16 mm telephoto lens to be able to identify numbers on a license plate. Seon recently introduced a high-definition camera that delivers 3x the resolution of a typical analog camera, ideal for this application.
“We have recently installed Seon’s latest outdoor, high-definition stop-arm camera to capture violators,” says Chrysti Mannix, Director of Transportation at Buffalo Trail Public Schools. “Having only installed the camera system a couple of months ago, so far, we have not caught a violator on video. However, when we pull the hard drives to view our material, the footage is incredibly clear and we can absolutely see the license plates of passing vehicles no problem. It is reassuring to know that we will be able to rely on Seon to easily capture the license plates of stop-arm violators.”
Stop-arm violation is a huge problem that bus cameras help resolve, but having reliable cameras inside of the bus is also extremely beneficial. Video impacts the entire school district: the students, school administrators, the transportation department, bus drivers, and parents. Having a camera system inside the bus provides a safer environment on-board and gives administrators a way of resolving issues quickly by reviewing video.
“Seon has been our school bus camera provider for 10 years, and our systems have been great; they are excellent tools to support student behavior management, when other methods aren’t working,” says Brian Hauptman, Director of Transportation at Parkland Transportation. “Video often leads to the realization that a child’s perspective on a particular situation is not all of the time exactly what happened — point blank, video validates the story. Since using Seon camera systems, I can say that student behavior management concerns have dropped by at least 42 percent.”
Camera systems provide accurate details about what happened, and also help bus drivers focus on their job. Video captures the event so that the bus drivers are not distracted and can focus on the road ahead, creating a safer condition for everyone.School bus drivers often view the footage of themselves on the bus and can use video as a training tool. Mr. Hauptman stated, “Our drivers love camera systems; they view the material and use it to learn from. They can see what their strengths are, and also focus on what they can improve on. Often people aren’t always aware of what they are doing, until they can see it for themselves.”
Seon enjoys helping our customers achieve the results that they need to solve any problems. Ultimately, we aim to ensure that our products can be depended on, and can assist in resolving safety concerns both on-board and outside of the school bus. Michael Shields, Transportation Director for Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon confirmed that we are accomplishing this goal when he stated, “It has been our pleasure to utilize the Seon camera systems in our school buses for the past several years. During that time our failure rate has been less than 0.01%. That’s an incredibly low rate for a device in a moving school bus.”
**The World Market for Mobile Video Surveillance Equipment, IMS Research, 2007, 2009, & 2011. This independent UK-based report is published every two years.
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