Saturday, February 24, 2007

NBC Puts TV Programming on Los Angeles Metro Buses

By The Associated Press
(Broadcasting & Cable) _ NBC's Los Angeles stations have partnered with out-of-home video provider Transit TV to provide local news, weather, sports and entertainment programming on 2,200 buses in the Los Angeles metro area.
Beginning this month, 1.2 million bus riders in Los Angeles will be able to see programming from KNBC (NBC), KVEA (Telemundo) and KWHY (a Spanish-language independent).
Five minutes of every hour of Transit TV's programming on its 2,200 buses will include programming from the NBC stations.

Bus Driver Hero Caught on Video

Bus driver snatches tot from truck's pathChris Leslie's quick action when toddler walked into traffic captured on cameras.

Wes Johnson News-Leader City Utilities bus driver - VIDEO STORY

Chris Leslie hasn't lost any of his speed since setting a 100-meter dash record in junior high school.
Good thing.

Leslie, 38, leapt from his CU bus last week to save the life of a 3-year-old girl who wandered off the bus with a cheery "Bye!" and walked straight into traffic on busy Sunshine Street.
The bus' security cameras captured Leslie streaking out the door and running in front of the still-running vehicle to grab her.
"I jumped out as fast as I could and ran out in front and caught her," Leslie recalled, modestly. "Luckily, I caught her in time."
Bus cameras caught several views of the incident, and one shows a car making a rapid stop directly in front of Leslie and the girl.
"As I grabbed her, I looked as I pulled her back and luckily the car in the next lane, a pickup, had stopped," he said. "It was probably the first time in my life I was in the right place at the right time."
Leslie's wife, Cara, said she knew something unusual had happened when Chris came home from work that night and immediately grabbed their 2-year-old daughter, Hannah, and gave her a long hug.
"He was really scared by it all," she said. "It's amazing how quick something like this can happen."
Aboard the bus, the little girl's mother had her hands full with another child in a stroller and the 3-year-old walking in front.
The girl ignored Leslie's reminder to "wait for your mother" before hopping off and heading into traffic.
Once she was safely reunited with her mother, Leslie said, the two were still hugging at the bus stop before he pulled away.
He took a few minutes to "get his bearings" before departing the scene.
"My heart was about to pound out of my chest and my body temperature was about 10 degrees hotter," he said.
CU board members learned of Leslie's heroics at Thursday's board meeting.
CU general manager John Twitty played a CD of the event, choking with emotion as he described Leslie's save.
"It's pretty special," Twitty said. "He put his own life on the line."
New board member Mike Chiles said he hoped the video of Leslie's heroics got wide play in the media.
"It's a good example of good citizenship," he said. "It just shows that heroic actions can take place in a split second."
Leslie, an eight-year CU veteran, earned the utility's Driver of the Year award last year.
His boss, transit manager Carol Cruise, said the utility's rules won't allow him to win it two years in a row.
"But there's no reason he couldn't win it the year after that."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Video Recordings Help With Discipline for School Districts

Recordings help with discipline, but systems can be pricey for school districts

Kandis Carper Staff writerJanuary 27, 2007

When the mother of a West Valley middle school student was told her child had taken a nail file to a school bus cushion, she assured the district that her child wouldn't do anything like that.
"When we showed her the tape, she was a little bit shocked," said Doug Matson, West Valley deputy superintendent. "The cameras show that the behavior happened."

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in violence on school buses. Nationally, news about students stabbing one another, shooting pellet guns, fighting and sexually molesting other students on buses is becoming increasingly common, reports the American Public Health Association.

To prevent this behavior, many school districts are installing digital video monitoring and bus tracking systems.

Washington state doesn't include cameras or tracking systems as standard equipment for school buses; school districts pay for any equipment they add to their vehicles.
The six new buses West Valley is purchasing this year will come equipped with camera systems, bringing to 36 the district's total of camera-equipped buses.
"The cameras have helped take away the bus-driver-versus-the-student's account of an incident," Matson said.

The East Valley School District bought three new buses this year and three last year. The new buses will share a handful of cameras that are rotated as needed on its 43 buses.
"We would love to put a camera on every bus," said Richard Cook, manager of fiscal affairs.
"Some buses have systems built in. The driver pops in a VCR tape and hits record. The camera flashes on students and then on the driver," Cook said.

"We've had some problems on a route for a few days, even though the kids knew there was a camera on the bus, but we were able to identify the troublemakers and take care of it," Cook said.

Paul Vigil, East Valley transportation supervisor, said conventional school buses cost about $76,000, and larger transit-style buses are about $92,000. Adding cameras and recording systems costs between $1,200 and $2,500 per bus, he said.

Transportation safety involves not only preventing violence and vandalism, but also preventing injuries caused by weather and road conditions. Districts sometimes have to make tough choices about which they're going to spend their money on.

Vigil said the money they have for options goes for sanders; insta-chains, an ice and snow chain system operated from inside the bus; tinted windows; and more comfortable drivers' seats. The district's biggest concern, he said, is getting around rural areas in the winter.

West Valley also has weather-related safety concerns that must be addressed when buses are outfitted. The district paid $180 for a strobe light for a bus that frequently travels through fog on the prairie route.

Central Valley School District added seven new buses to its fleet this month, bringing its total to 87 buses.

"All the buses have sanders, but we didn't equip them with cameras or GPS systems. We can add those items at a later time if we need to," said Melanie Rose, spokeswoman for the district.

Security Cameras on Transit Buses

Security cameras on buses
Paige Hilton, Guelph
(Jan 23, 2007)
Guelph Transit is installing video surveillance systems on its buses and mobility vehicles in an effort to ensure the safety of passengers and drivers. The systems are being installed on Guelph Transit's 54 buses and five mobility vehicles. It's an initiative that will hopefully deter physical and verbal assaults on drivers, as well as vandalism of city buses, says Guelph Transit's supervisor of operations, driver training and development.
"We don't have the exact numbers of verbal assaults on our drivers, spitting on our drivers, but the numbers are increasing," said Elisabeth Vandermade. While verbal assaults make up the majority of incidents bus drivers have to deal with, there have been a couple of physical assaults that prompted transit to look into more security measures.
In October 2005 a driver was punched in the face, said Vandermade. In March 2006, another driver was assaulted in St. George's Square when he was punched, knocked to the ground and kicked in the head when he refused to honour used transfers.
The surveillance system uses up to eight digital video cameras in each bus and a hard drive to store recorded images. Whenever the bus is operating, the surveillance system is running.