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Scarborough school buses to get new exterior, interior cameras

Some Scarborough School District buses had an exterior camera installed last year in addition to the already existing four cameras inside. Now some of the fleet will have two exterior cameras and five on the inside.

SCARBOROUGH (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- Safety is a top priority for parents and school officials, especially when it comes to getting to and from school. Installing small surveillance cameras is one way to keep extra eyes on what's happening in and around the school bus. Districts across the nation and in Maine are investing in this technology. There's one local district that's adding even more security measures to its fleet this year.

School bus drivers return to the road as students and teachers go back to class. And if you see them on the road, when a stop-arm goes out, you have to stop too. Drivers say in Scarborough those violations do happen and it puts students' safety at risk.

To crack down the district installed one camera on the outside of some of its buses last year and this year, its adding even more.

"Five cameras inside and two cameras outside," said Superindendent Julie Kukenberger

Kukenberger says there have been four cameras already on the inside for the last few years.

"One other thing that we're doing here in Scarborough is also installing the safety buttons in the back of the bus and that's a requirement that's coming down the pike for new buses but our transportation supervisor is working to retrofit our existing buses with that safety feature as well."

The buses are owned by the School Department and a new one typically costs $130,000. The cost of the cameras is built in to the price of a new bus.

The Scarborough Police Department reminded drivers to read up on the rules of the road as the new school year gets underway.

Scarborough school officials have one mission:

"Be as proactive as we can when it comes to student safety," said Kukenberger.

Scarborough students and teachers started the new school year Tuesday.

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