RPS adds cameras to its school buses to keep children safe from dangerous drivers

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(ABC 6 News) – Rochester Public Schools is joining a long list of schools in southeastern Minnesota that are installing cameras on school buses to keep children safe from dangerous drivers.

Part of a $14 million dollar statewide grant, RPS received about $300,000 to install these cameras on more than 100 buses in the district.

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Police officers, school officials and traffic safety members met to discuss the importance of public awareness and to make sure drivers know the punishment if they choose to speed through school bus stop arms and put children in harms way.

“When we have inattentive drivers that make bad choices, it can be very dangerous,” explained grant manager, Rahya Geisler, with the Office of Traffic Safety. “So, we don’t want any students to feel unsafe or be scared when they get on and off the bus.”

The installments started at the beginning of the year and so far, more than 7,000 buses across the state are equipped with this new technology to hold dangerous drivers accountable and let school bus drivers focus on keeping kids safe.

“Unfortunately, I’ve done this for a lot of years. It’s not if they are going to see one, it’s when,” added Jeff Kappers, RPS Transportation Manager.

There are two more phases of grant money on the way. The sixth and final phase of grant recipients will be announced in April.