Montgomery Public School System Gets New School Bus Cameras

Imagine putting 50 children in one room and you had to keep up with them with your back turned at all times. That's what it's like to be a school bus driver. But now, bus drivers for Montgomery Public Schools have an extra set of eyes to help them do their jobs: digital cameras. The cameras are there to help ensure the safety of students and drivers, too.

A mother attacks a student on a school bus and it's all caught on camera. Videos like that one helped convince the Montgomery Public School System it needed high tech cameras on its buses. "Bus drivers can watch the traffic, not so much the mirror back watching the children," said Montgomery Public School System Transportation Director Mike Cox.

Cox rolled out $152,000 for the new digital cameras. He says it's already paying off. "Every camera has a date and a time that cannot be changed," he says.

Already this school year, Cox has received complaints about problems on buses. He was able to pull up the video and determine what really happened.

Here's how the system works: When the bus rolls, so does the camera. As soon as the driver starts the bus, the camera comes on. It can see and hear everything that happens on the bus like, "Fights, kids picking on other kids," said student Shantya Wilson.

Shantya rides the bus to and from school. She says a lot can happen during the short trip and can see how the cameras can protect her. She says, "So, other kids won't get blamed for things they didn't do."

Her Mother also likes the idea of having an extra eye on her child. She says, "Somebody says something is going on the bus, they can go back and review the video and see what really happened."  The bus driver is not able to turn off the camera when he of she likes. It stops rolling five minutes after the bus is turned off.