Albuquerque Public Schools Adding 70 School Bus Cameras

The school bus cameras are meant to improve student safety and deter bullying.

Officials with Albuquerque Public Schools announced plans for the addition of 70 school bus cameras to its fleet on Monday.

The $200,000 investment will offer district officials four camera angles that show both students and drivers on the school buses.

According to Student Transportation Services Director Royce Binns, the cameras will not be monitored daily. Binns described the expanded surveillance system as a “reactionary tool”, but also noted that it could have a deterrent affect for students who know they’re being watched.

Officials cited bullying and vandalism concerns as two of the motivating factors for the security upgrades. They also noted that the cameras will give parents added peace of mind.

Since 2015, the district has had surveillance cameras on about 30 of its buses, reports krqe.com. Binns said the cameras have helped reduce the number of incidents on district school buses.

“It does decrease vandalism and discipline on the bus,” Binns said. “Really any bullying.”

Albuquerque Public Schools operates its own fleet of buses, making it the largest school bus operator in the state, with around 200 buses overall.

Eventually, district officials say they’d like to equip all of their school buses with cameras. For now, the district will install the cameras on buses based on their level of need.

“If there’s disciplinary issues on certain routes, or instances that are going on,” Binns told krqe.com. “After that, it will be the larger buses, the route buses. Then it will be special needs buses.”

The district’s Board Finance Committee approved the expenditure during a meeting Monday afternoon. The board said they’ll pay for the cameras with the money the district gained during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

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Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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