Okaloosa Co School District Looking into Adding More Cameras on School Buses

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Of the 185 active school buses in Okaloosa district school's fleet, 100 are equipped with video cameras, but some parents believe that isn't good enough.

"It started with a phone call to me by a parent, a specific situation between her and her child, and basically I was able to get a camera on that school bus,” said Nick Kootsouradis, Assistant Superintendent for the Okaloosa County School District. “That was the right thing to do for that situation and that child."

Now Okaloosa District School officials are considering buying cameras for the rest of the buses, as well as a few spares.

"They help the drivers; it is an extra set of eyes on the bus,” said Jay McInnis, Program Director for the OCSD Transportation Department. “We currently have a three camera system, one in the back, one in the front, and one that is right by the door. That gives us a view of the entire bus, and we get all views, from all angles."

The extra eyes won't be cheap, transportation officials will spend the next week researching which cameras are most cost efficient.

"The cameras set up in the front, but there are lens throughout the bus, because if you only film from the front, you won't see everything,” said Kootsouradis. “We put several different lenses in the bus, so we have a panoramic view so you can see it all, but it is a little more expensive."

But the ultimate goal is to provide safe transportation for the students.

School district officials will look over the camera costs next week, and then present the information to school board members.