New BOE Policy Requires Internal Cameras, GPS Tracking Devices on All Lakewood School Bus Routes

A new policy presented implemented by the Lakewood School Board, now requires all buses in Lakewood to be outfitted with internal cameras and a GPS tracking device – a system already in place on Lakewood’s Public School routes.

The new policy – proposed by TLS in 2010 following an incident – was presented last night at the Board of Education meeting by the Transportation Committee – one of the sub-committees of the BOE.

With the new policy, all newly-bidded routes demand that the buses be equipped with video recording devices with the ability to capture the activity on the school bus at all times, as well as a GPS device to keep track of the bus’s location at all times. 

The system, says Transportation Committee Chairman Joel Schwartz, would increase security and safety for the students as well as for the bus drivers.

“The system is found to be very helpful”, says Schwartz, who was instrumental in putting the system into place. “When an incident occurs and allegations arise, the video can instantly identify the problem.” The most common problems, says Schwartz, are bullying and student misconduct. “The system replaces the necessity of a bus monitor”, Schwartz says. 

The GPS tracking device installed on the bus, will help avoid most allegations against the driver, and thwart complaints students and parents have.

The requirement comes after the recent successful implementation of such devices on public school routes.

The system, says Schwartz, is also capable of accommodating stop-arm cameras, though that requirement was not yet implemented. TLS.

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  1. In 1998 or 1999, after two children were run over in Lakewood, I thought of an idea of some kind of guard in front school buses, kind of like the old cow-catchers in front of locomotives. I researched and found that Majestic Industries in California designed the Safe-T-Guard, which was supposed to be installed under the carriage in front of each wheel well to block anything large from getting run over. I got the State of NJ interested and people in Lakewood. (Majestic’s stock price tripled because of my activities!).Then all of a sudden , the company closed down. They received an unfavorable report from the USDOT on their Sate-t-bar, a different product they were promoting.

    The Safety-Guard is used on city buses. I saw a demonstration in which someone fell under the bus in front of the wheel and was pushed away unharmed. It was my understanding in 1999 that there were technical difficulties in making it work for school buses because of their height above the road. This is an idea for anyone out there with a background in material engineering and it will save lives if it can be done.

  2. I wonder how much this new mandate will cost us when the bids come in and how many compaanies will get wavers because they can’t get the work done in time?

  3. Maybe now they can catch bus drivers on there cell phones. I see it all the time when I am driving. Also maybe they can enforce safety belt codes on all handicap buses,

  4. This should be an easy move and a no brainer since most bus companies have already outfitted their fleet with cameras and dvr’s. Yes you will get resistance from bus companies and a few disgruntled people, but for the most part great news for a parent of a child riding the Lakewood bus system knowing that if something does happen on the bus, a place where neither the parent nor the teacher is accessible, incidents can now be reviewed and appropriate corrective measures taken. How can you argue with that.

  5. #5 You are absolutely correct. I hope the cameras will have a view of the whole bus.

    I was shocked three years ago when TLS reported that kids shouted Anti-Semetic remarks from a bus. Over the last two years I have made two incident reports of kids spitting out the windows or shouting profanities that I witnessed as a private citizen. The kids did not know me. I contacted the administration of both the middle school and the high school which took the reports seriously. The problem was that the drivers could not identify the kids and they did not go to LHS so I did not know them. Perhaps now they will be held accountable.

  6. #12 The seatbelt solution was designed by Majestic Industries (see comment 1). They designed a bar, like on roller coasters, that would go down on children in their seat. I do not know about you, but I do not see children in their seats all the time. Majestic put to much capital into this project and bankrupted themselves.

    However, the Safe-T-Guard or something similar is something that should be taken up by another company or an independent inventor.

Comments are closed.