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MoCo approves $4.7 million for School Bus Camera Safety initiative

The+Montgomery+County+Council+approved+the+allotment+of+%244.7+million+on+Sept.+27+to+continue+installing+safety+cameras+on+both+the+inside+and+outside+of+school+buses.+Cameras+are+expected+to+be+installed+on+an+additional+400+buses+by+the+end+of+2018.+
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MoCo approves $4.7 million for School Bus Camera Safety initiative

The Montgomery County Council approved the allotment of $4.7 million on Sept. 27 to continue installing safety cameras on both the inside and outside of school buses. Cameras are expected to be installed on an additional 400 buses by the end of 2018.

The Montgomery County Council approved the allotment of $4.7 million on Sept. 27 to continue installing safety cameras on both the inside and outside of school buses. Cameras are expected to be installed on an additional 400 buses by the end of 2018.

Photo by Kurumi Sato.

The Montgomery County Council approved the allotment of $4.7 million on Sept. 27 to continue installing safety cameras on both the inside and outside of school buses. Cameras are expected to be installed on an additional 400 buses by the end of 2018.

Photo by Kurumi Sato.

Photo by Kurumi Sato.

The Montgomery County Council approved the allotment of $4.7 million on Sept. 27 to continue installing safety cameras on both the inside and outside of school buses. Cameras are expected to be installed on an additional 400 buses by the end of 2018.

By Blake Layman

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The Montgomery County Council approved the allotment of $4.7 million on Sept. 27 to continue installing safety cameras on both the inside and outside of school buses. These cameras aim to deter dangerous driving around buses and misconduct that occurs inside the buses.

Maryland law states that no driver can drive past a school bus with the bus’ stop arm extended and lights flashing to help prevent reckless drivers from hitting children crossing the street or getting off the bus.

“There was no money up front to put cameras on the buses on a large scale and this was the way to get cameras inside and on the outside of the buses without spending a lot of taxpayer dollars,” Board of Education member Pat O’Neill said. “It was a top priority. It provides a level of safety and security for MCPS.”

Five-hundred cameras are currently equipped on buses whose routes are considered the most dangerous in the county. Cameras are expected to be installed on an additional 400 buses by the end of 2018.

While revenue comes from the cameras on the exterior of buses, the cameras inside are also extremely valuable to MCPS. When problems arise, MCPS is able to get an accurate account of the events, rather than relying on varying personal accounts..

“School bus safety is a very serious issue and an important one,” Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro said. “We are utilizing this technology to protect our students, and hopefully change drivers’ dangerous behaviors in illegally passing school buses that are picking up and dropping off students.”

In addition to having footage of any incidents, cameras could potentially proactively change students’ behavior and deter them from making poor decisions

“When kids see a camera, they act differently,” freshman Danny Mermelstein said. “When you know that somebody is watching, you are less likely to do something stupid.”

This story was updated Dec. 19 at 11:00 a.m. to clarify the source of the funds.

About the Writer
Blake Layman, News Writer
Grade

11

What are some of your interests?

Playing basketball, going skiing, hanging out with friends.

Why did you join the Black and White?

I enjoyed journalism and learning about things that happen at our school and in our community before others. Writing stories allows you to meet new people that you would never have talked to before.

What's your favorite vegetable?

Kale
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