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Harrison County School District installs cameras on school buses

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 7:38 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Students in the Harrison County School District will have some extra protection on the way to and from school. The district placed cameras in and around school buses to help catch unsafe drivers.

Bus drivers were all smiles when they heard about the Harrison County School District installing new cameras on all 200 of its buses. Sandra Hauersperger has been a school bus driver for the district for four years and grew a close relationship with students who travel on her bus.

“I love my kids. Once they get on that bus, they’re mine,” said Hauersperger.

Hauersperger said that over the past years, she has seen drivers speeding to get around the bus, running red lights, cutting corners and going through the bus’s stop arm.

She said that in the past she would try to take down license plate numbers of cars, but couldn’t write them down enough.

“All last year if they ran my stop sign, then I would try to get their tag numbers and try to get them, but now to the new cameras, I won’t have to try very hard. These children have to be our first priority. It is for us bus drivers and it is to the district, that’s why they did this,” said Hauersperger.

The district explained that each bus has four cameras inside of the bus and two on the outside of the bus. Now, when Hauersperger sees a driver going through the stop arms, she can turn on the camera that captures an image of the license plate.

Then, the district gets the image and sends it to law enforcement.

The district’s assistant director of security and internal compliance, Shannon Nobles, said that safety is the number one priority for its students and that cameras came after there were many complaints from bus drivers and law enforcement.

“We hope it will deter these infractions. It’s all about the safety for kids getting to and from school,” said Nobles, “These cameras are utilized to deter issues as we’re talking about the stop arm cameras. We want citizens and motors to know that we have these cameras. There’s a risk of not only one getting hurt, but a risk you can be cited.”

Hauersperger explained regardless if there are cameras or not, it should be second nature to keep your eyes on the road.

“They are children. They’re not looking for cars. That’s their priority is to get on the bus, so your priority should be to look for them first,” said Hauersperger.

Nobles said the overall cost for the cameras were over $400,000.

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