In this industry, student safety is obviously of great concern to us. However, two recent, frightening incidents should also turn our attention toward the safety of bus drivers.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, a school bus driver was shot at and wounded in February by a motorist because the bus driver reportedly sideswiped his van. The bus driver was taken by ambulance for a wound to his left arm and graze wound on his head. Thankfully, the one student aboard at the time, an 8-year-old girl, wasn’t injured.
After shooting at the bus, the motorist walked to the driver’s side of the bus and called 911. He told officers that he feared for his safety and that was why he shot at the bus driver. However, video footage showed the defendant had retreated to a safe spot before walking in front of the bus and shooting.
Meanwhile, in Detroit, Michigan, it was widely reported that two men boarded a school bus and beat and robbed the driver in front of the students on board. The reason: his bus apparently grazed the side of a vehicle and knocked off a mirror. The bus surveillance camera captured the January incident.
These two incidents, both of which made national news, demonstrate the importance of providing drivers proper training and support. And one form of support can be critical — having incidents recorded on camera. Thankfully, cameras caught these violent acts, and in the case of the Detroit incident, those cameras were on the school bus.
Video surveillance cameras are also helpful in managing or investigating incidents impacting student safety.
Although school buses are the safest form of transportation for students, it is heartening to see more attention being paid to keeping an eye on safety — for both students and drivers alike.