Video cameras on school buses protect children, punish drivers

When the stop sign on a school bus is extended, drivers must come to a complete stop behind the bus or face significant fines.

When the stop sign on a school bus is extended, drivers must come to a complete stop behind the bus or face significant fines.

There was a lot of publicity about the “pedophile cam” attached to each of Dallas County Schools’ 2,000-plus buses recently, when DCS unveiled its new “safety for every student” campaign, which involves installing a series of video cameras on each bus that can be monitored live from a central office.

The “pedophile cam” is installed on the rear of each bus to keep an eye on who is trailing the vehicle — studies have shown that pedophiles carefully monitor a target’s daily route. But that’s only one of a series of cameras installed inside and outside of each bus.

What the cameras mean for those who don’t have children is that if you don’t stop each time a bus has extended its “stop” sign, you’ll face a $300-plus fine for violating the law.

A series of side-mounted bus cameras automatically snap HD video of each passing car — similar to the infamous red light cameras installed at intersections — and can instantly flash the name and address of the vehicle’s owner to DCS police, who can then review the violation and drop a summer of the violation and demand for money in the mail. With the vehicle captured on HD video, good luck begging off the fine.

The violation monitoring serves two purposes: The $9,000 cost to outfit each school bus with cameras is partially defrayed with collected fines, and the safety of students in and around buses is enhanced, according to DCS assistant superintendent Susan Falvo. DCS also is marketing the program to other cities and ISDs in Texas, with Sam Marcos CISD and Judson ISD already signed on and pilot programs underway in school districts in Birdville, Cleburne, Carroll, Colleyville, Comal, Eanes, East Central, Garland, Grapevine, Lake Travis, Leander, New Braunfels, North East, Round Rock and Socorro.

The school districts outside of Dallas can opt to set up their own monitoring room or contract with DCS to monitor the bus activity.

Cameras mounted on the sides, front and rear of each Dallas County School bus monitor traffic and activity around the bus.

Cameras mounted on the sides, front and rear of each Dallas County School bus monitor traffic and activity around the bus.

By |2018-06-28T10:18:40-05:00April 7th, 2014|Education, News, The Mom’s Digest|4 Comments

About the Author:

RICK WAMRE is president of Advocate Media. He also writes a monthly column and blogs about neighborhood issues. Email him at rwamre@advocatemag.com.                                                  


  1. Summer April 10, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    Apparently the overpass for 35 on 8th st right over the highway center lane at the traffic light is a designated bus stop for a bus instead of a few hundred feet further up at the curb or Townview’s bus lanes. I stop at every intersection stop sign or not and always stop for busses with the sign out. I didn’t and neither did about 10 other vehicles see the bus sign out and wouldn’t expect one on a busy overpass in the center lane for a designated bus stop. Really, who in their right mind put a bus stop on the middle lane of a busy overpass? Does the city plan on paying for injuries to kids who have to go across the right lane to the center lane when they get hit because that’s not any bus stop I have ever seen anywhere. So happy birthday to me, I got an early present in the form of a $300 fine even after proving the bus was on the overpass at the light stopped to make a left turn like many do and the driver put the sign out. Several 8am to 9 am steakouts watching for the child who gets on the bus on a overpass bridge at the traffic light around 8:15-8:20 have proven that the driver lied yet nothing we have provided as evidence is accepted so the DISD scammed about 11 cars including mine for $300 because the driver, any bus driver can throw their sign out and claim its a spot because the bus driver, not the terminal who.should be making bus routes, determines where their bus stops are. They can even make a bus stop on any lane of highway 35 if they so choose too. I respect the rules concerning children safety at bus stops but see now that the system is very flawed and DISD is that money hungry to allow blatant abuse of the bus law by bus drivers who don’t like waiting to make that left turn on a busy overpass so they flip the sign out.

  2. Wylie H Dallas April 8, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Thanks… looks like these are they guys… and i guess they’re officing out of the DCS bus barn. Interesting.


  3. Rick Wamre April 8, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Wylie, I asked Susan Falvo with DCS to answer your question. Here’s what she said: “FMS (formerly ONGO) was chosen through the rfp process. Dallas County Schools (DBA Texserve) has now purchased the licenses for the BusGuard system for the State of Texas. Dallas County Schools is a governmental/educational organization serving school districts and government entities throughout the State.”

  4. Wylie H Dallas April 7, 2014 at 6:13 PM

    Who got the contract for this project, and how were they chosen?

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