RPS bus cameras being called a success

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In April, Richmond Public Schools announced it was installing cameras on 50 school buses. The program was a partnership with the company Force Multiplier.

“When the stop arm goes out, it’s recording all the activity that’s coming toward the stop signal as well as anything that goes past the stop signal,” said Tommy Kranz with Richmond Public Schools.

Right now the cameras are on 50 buses, and the school system plans to install the cameras on the remaining 200 by the start of next school year.

“We’ll rotate those busses and get every bus equipped with the camera system during the summer and still provide the services we need to provide for summer school,” Kranz said.

Since the cameras were installed in April, officials said the program is exceeding their expectations.

“We’re averaging about one ticket per bus, per day for the first month,” Kranz said.

Force Multiplier installed the cameras without charging the school system with the idea that the fines from the tickets will pay for everything.

Each ticket will cost the driver a $250 fine.

“It goes 60 percent back to the company, that pays for their costs and it pays for the investment of the equipment that they put up,” Kranz said. “Then 40% will go into the general purpose fund of Richmond Public Schools.”

Tommy Kranz, the soon to be interim school superintendent said RPS didn’t go into this deal to make money.

“From RPS’s standpoint this gave us a better camera system than what we had originally on our bus,” Kranz said. “It expanded from three cameras up to 14 cameras on the bus.”

Kranz said in the future, camera footage will also be used to determine the safety of school bus stops and proper placement of those stops.

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