Thursday April 22, 2021 | COWICHAN VALLEY, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
Interior cameras are now installed on the entire fleet of Cowichan Valley School District (SD79) yellow school buses.
The new interior cameras are called an added safety measure for contact tracing inside the buses, while exterior cameras will document traffic infractions that continue to put students and staff at risk, as stated in a release today.
Funding for the camera equipment was made possible as part of the Government of Canada Safe Return to Class Fund during this COVID season of the current 2020-2021 school year.
Contact tracing investigators now have the ability to request detailed information about students and staff who may have interacted on the bus. Data from the camera feed will include the wearing of masks, duration of interactions between people, and distance between riders.
Exterior cameras too:
In addition to the four interior cameras, the seven-point system has three exterior cameras to help with identifying drivers who disobey the warning and stop lights on buses.
Since the installation of the cameras during spring break in March, there have in these past three weeks been 22 recorded incidents of disobeying the stop sign.
The financial price tag was camera system purchase and installation was $150,000.
The price for contact tracing and driving safety infraction information may well be considered to be the privacy of everyone inside or outside of the school buses. But SD79 Board Chair Candace Spilsbury says “the addition of the interior and exterior cameras on our buses provides peace of mind for students and staff alike”.