All posts by Vlada Terenina

How School Bus Cameras Can Help in Accident Reconstruction

It was a regular Wednesday afternoon for Clayton County bus driver Terry Pettiford, who had just dropped the children off after a volleyball game and was coming back to the bus yard. She was driving down Panhandle Road when all of a sudden a red car crossed the center line and sent the bus off its track into a home.

The video from Seon’s on-board camera system captured those terrifying seconds when Terry Pettiford had to decide where to turn to avoid a head-on collision, then swerved left and struck a house. She had two choices: go to the right, into the park which was full of kids, or choose the left side. As seen on camera, the left turn took the bus directly into the garage of the house that belongs to Tom and Barbara Essinger. The driver saw the roof coming down, and as the glass started shattering, she screamed and tried to protect her eyes.

Luckily, there were no children on the bus and no one was severely hurt in the accident. Barbara Essinger, the homeowner, injured her knee by being thrown from her couch by the crash, and Terry Pettiford, the bus driver, got several bruises  – although the emotional stress over the accident lasted much longer.

“I thank God every day I was able to live through that,” Terry Pettiford said to Atlanta’s 11Alive reporters later.

The windshield camera video served as a great evidence to prove the innocence of the bus driver, whom locals called a hero. The video recording was used in the police investigation to confirm that the driver of the red car initiated the accident. Even the owners of the house – the Essingers, understood the situation and the choice of the bus track. Terry Pettiford could have driven into a park with lots of kids, but instead she turned the vehicle into a garage.

Seon’s school bus camera systems capture video and audio of exactly what’s happening on board and let drivers keep their eyes on the road. Having high-definition, quality mobile surveillance equipment, and placing it strategically inside and outside of the vehicle, ensures that everything that happens on a route is captured and recorded. The camera body is designed to protect it from wreckages and the video image stays clear even in low-light conditions, which can be extremely important in the emergency situations.

The company’s video playback software allows authorized personnel to pinpoint the exact time and location of the accident, vehicle speed, turn signals and braking. The data from the camera system can be saved and archived, and a video clip can be created for evidence.  Thus, installation of video and audio surveillance products can be a great solution to meet the challenges of today’s school bus environment.

Want to learn more about Seon’s mobile surveillance systems? Visit our web site or call us at 1.877.630.7366.

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