Wednesday, January 02, 2008

School Bus Camera Pilot in Quebec, Canada

BUCKINGHAM, Quebec—An on-board December fire, driver intimidation and student fighting recently prompted the Quebec school board to install cameras on two school buses.

The school board will be installing the cameras on two routes that carry students to Ecole Secondaire Hormisdas-Gamelin after students started a paper fire and burned seats, Sylvain Leger, vice president of Commission Scolaire au Coeur-des-Vallees, told the CanWest News Service.

“There was intimidation against other students and against school bus drivers themselves,” Leger told the news service.

The school bus drivers’ union requested the cameras.

The fire didn’t cause any injuries, but it frightened the driver and other passengers.

Schools officials said they hope the cameras will deter students from causing problems, and the school board’s transportation committee will assess the effectiveness of the measure in late January.

Leger told the news service that violence has increased in Quebec schools in recent years.

The article also said it is not known if the school board had consulted the police or the Quebec Ministry of Education about the plan to install cameras on the buses.

Charlene Hunter, a spokeswoman for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, told the news service that the board is not considering cameras on a combined bus system for public and separate schools in 2008.