New Investment in Bus Student Safety and Security
Starting in September 2019, Niagara Student Transportation Services (NSTS) will have school bus routes equipped with video cameras for the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board. There will be interior-facing and exterior-facing cameras. The cameras provide an additional tool to enhance student safety and security.
Niagara school bus operators contracted by NSTS have made this investment for enhanced student safety and security and in consideration that school buses have one adult on board, the bus driver, whose primary responsibility is to focus on driving students to and from school safely. Both interior-facing and exterior-facing cameras provides another set of eyes to enhance on the bus and bus stop safety. The first few weeks of school there will 10 buses with video surveillance, and by the end of December there will be 100 buses region-wide.
"Last year school bus drivers identified on the bus and bus stop safety concerns as top priorities, and cameras will serve as a tool in the event of a concern or incident that needs to be investigated." said Lori Ziraldo, Executive Director of NSTS.
Parents, students and school staff can identify that a bus is equipped with a video camera by the (C) following the route number. There will also be a sign on the outside of the bus in the second/third window behind the door and a sign inside the bus at the front. Bus drivers are not authorized to turn off the cameras, and as such, parents, guardians, students and schools may travel on a school bus equipped with cameras in the event a spare bus is deployed to cover a route and for field trips.
The motoring public adhering to the law is critical for the safety and security of students while boarding and unboarding a school bus. A stop arm violation, or failure to stop for a school bus when the red overhead flashing lights are on and the stop arm is deployed, will be reported to the Niagara Regional Police with the video evidence.
Personal information recorded by these cameras is collected under the authority of the Education Act and in accordance with the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. NSTS has the primary responsibility for the information gathered by cameras.
For more information on video surveillance on school buses, please contact Lori Ziraldo, Executive Director or view the related procedure S006 - Video Surveillance on School Purpose Vehicles.