GPS on vehicles, cameras on buses add accountability, safety

Published 9:12 am Monday, November 9, 2015

For some reason productivity of an employee seems to increase whenever the boss is looking, a fact not lost of the Port Arthur ISD board of trustees, which is considering the feasibility of installing “tattle tale” devices on vehicles in the transportation and maintenance departments.

Some school buses and newer vehicles already have the global positioning system devices installed. Adding the devices to all the maintenance department vehicles would allow supervisors to know exactly where the vehicle has been and how long it was there. The idea of the “tattle tale” devices on vehicles in governmental fleets might be one that other entities will want to consider, too.

Perhaps even more important is adding camera systems to school buses for the protection of both students and drivers while the bus is in use. The system acts as a preventive measure. Bad behavior is much less likely to occur if a camera is recording what’s happening. And if there is a need to see what happened on the bus, the video is recorded and available.

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The camera system is not standard equipment on buses, but PAISD began using them last summer and about half the district’s buses are equipped with the cameras. We encourage the district and others to continue equipping buses with the cameras. The price is small compared to the peace of mind it would give parents — and bus drivers — by recording what goes on when no one else is watching.