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6 Ways To Improve School Bus Safety Using Stop-arm Cameras

For millions of students across the globe, the school day begins and ends with a trip on the school bus. Unfortunately, many also get injured each year in mishaps involving the bus. 

With speeding vehicles passing by without any regard for traffic, students tend to face the most danger when they are loading and unloading from the bus.

There are plenty of measures including the modern school bus tracker that can guarantee you the safety of students aboard the bus. However, responsibility for security does stop when kids step off the bus. 

Drivers who are at the front-end of the bus cannot tend to the needs of the students always and look after them. They often need “extra sets of eyes” to look after the kids outside the safety net of the bus. 

This is the reason why schools across the globe are pushing for integrating stop-arm cameras on the bus. Positioned outside the bus, these systems help to deter instances of vandalism and illegal passing. 

It allows the law-enforcement authorities the best means of catching motorists who break the law and endanger children when the bus is standstill.

Here is how you can best use the stop-arm cameras to maximize student safety

1.Make the stop-arms cameras visible and evident

Every deterrent works only when the public is made aware of it. The cameras need to be visible and placed in such a way that motorists know they are being watched and are hence careful about their driving.

Add more lights to the bus and to the stop-arm to make it brighter. Flashy objects tend to capture the attention even while the mind is engaged in driving.

Have a predominant stop sign placed right next to the camera. Publicize the fact that you have a stop-arm camera integrated bus. Add it as a safety feature in your school brochures, social media pages, and the website.

Not only will the parents be impressed with the lengths that the school is taking to promote safety but also motorists will be careful while driving around the bus.

2.Place the camera strategically

The stop-arm cameras will be of no use as an additional safety guard if they are not placed right.

The cameras should be positioned such that it can capture images of front and back license plates of vehicles that illegally pass through the bus as well as the face of the driver.

The video evidence will help you become armed with all the relevant information needed to prosecute offending drivers. 

3.Invest in modern technologies

These days buses are also required to be in operation during the night time or dark. Hence, invest in a camera that has an in-built flash and can enhance the quality of images taken in the dark.

The camera system you choose should also feature equipment that is built to operate in tough conditions like rain, strong winds among others. Chances of accidents occurring in bad weather conditions are predominantly high. 

The Digital Video Recorder (DVR) used to record the footage should also be designed to be compatible with the high level of vibration that can come with driving on rough roads. 

4.Have access to good-quality footage

As mentioned above, the strategic placement of the camera is essential. But a good location will fetch you no extra details if the camera can’t provide a clear picture of the violator because of poor image quality.

If you’re going to use stop-arm cameras to catch violators, it’s vital to find a system that provides high-definition and non-pixelated pictures.

You want to be sure to catch details like the license plate numbers or physical features of the driver. This is especially useful for speeding vehicles.

When motorists drive at a high-speed, there are chances that they might not get captured on the lens or there is a blurred image. With a high-definition camera, you can capture the details of the driver with finesse.

Besides, when you zoom into the footage, you will be able to catch little details of the driver with precision and clarity. 

The footage can also be useful if litigation comes up in case of an accident. There are high chances that the motorist might be over speeding but will not accept this before the law enforcement. The footage can be reviewed to know who exactly is at fault. 

5.Have an easy to operate system

With naughty kids on the bus to look after, drivers already have their hands full. The last thing they need to worry about is whether the camera system works efficiently.

If the driver frets about the camera footage, chances are that he might not concentrate properly on the road. Hence, he shouldn’t be tasked with worries such as if the system is recording automatically or if it can process high-quality images. 

6.Develop a strategy with respect to video storage and management

The entire exercise of setting up a stop-arm camera will turn futile if the footage is not stored properly and managed well.  Be sure of where you store the images and video, as they will be your most useful weapon to prosecute violators.

Figure out how much storage is required and the format in which you are going to store the influx of data. In case of an insurance claim or a criminal complaint, the footage will have to be stored for a considerable amount of time

Have a comprehensive video policy that details how they have access to the footage and who can share or delete it. You can either choose to assign a staff member to look after the videos or outsource it to a third-party vendor.

The most important aspect of stop-arm camera footage is to organize it efficiently. When integrated with the fleet tracker, the managers don’t have to bother about looking after the data. 

When the video evidence is tagged with information like date, time and GPS coordinates, the managers can swiftly look through the data in case a need arises. 

After the bus returns to the yard, the video tagged as a stop-arm violation is automatically downloaded on to a central server for review and processing.


By integrating the stop-arm camera system with a school bus tracking system, the management can not only keep a tab on the drivers’ driving pattern and behavior aboard the bus but also monitor the other vehicles passing by.

The software can also provide live stream footage directly from the bus, so management can monitor student and driver activity in real-time, when necessary.

If safety is a prime concern, a good quality fleet monitoring software as well as a high-tech stop-arm camera system should be a definite purchase. What are you waiting for?


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