Onboard Video Assists in Training

Posted on February 1, 2002

The San Marcos (Calif.) Unified School District has equipped three school vans with audio/video recording systems that register bus movement. The DriveCam Video Event Data Recorders, manufactured by DriveCam Video Systems in San Diego, are monitored by g-force sensors and triggered by hard acceleration or breaking, harsh turns or impact.

“I thought it would enhance our liability coverage,” says transportation director Joe Beard, who purchased four of the systems at about $700 apiece to provide documentation in the event of an accident. The cameras, which are constantly registering events into digital memory, will record the 10 seconds previous to a triggered event, as well as the 10 seconds following the event. Because his special-needs vans travel long distances on highways, Beard felt they were the ideal candidates for the video system. “These vans have a lot of vulnerability because of the miles put on them,” he explains.

Ed Andrew, president of DriveCam, points out that the video system is part of a comprehensive driver training program. “The idea is to play back recordings of erratic driving events to give drivers unbiased and objective feedback about their driving habits,” he says. “In addition to having fewer collisions, you will also have lower maintenance costs because vehicles will endure fewer scrapes, body damage and brake wear due to improved driving ability.”

Beard says that the units can also be used to deter stop arm running. Using the panic button, drivers can activate the camera to record motorists passing their bus.

For more information on DriveCam, visit

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