Amherst County Schools Have More Eyes on the Road
Madison Heights, VA - Instead of one camera, every single school bus that travels along business 29 in Madison Heights, now has four video cameras. And one day their footage could be used to convict you.
Amherst County Schools' transportation director says two to three times a day, bus drivers call in to report a car has run their red lights. Wayne Cocke says most drivers don't realize they're required to stop, even if they're headed in the opposite direction on a four-lane highway, if there isn't a physical barrier.
"That's the hard drive right there," Cocke said, pointing to the Angel Trax system just installed in a county school bus.
Amherst County Public Schools is shelling out $8,500 to equip 11 buses with the new system. Three cameras monitor what's happening on the inside, and an outside camera is activated by the bus's stop sign to catch red light runners.
ABC 13 used our own vehicle to put the system to the test. It clearly captured our license plate as we drove by.
"If I'm motioning for that child to come across and then this car decides to run, he's now going to run that child over," said Transportation Coordinator David Randall, a former bus driver.
Our simulation happened in the transportation department's parking lot. But in the real world the video is handed over to law enforcement and could mean points on your record and a $250 dollar fine.
"I have to go home at night and go to sleep. And if I know that I didn't do something to protect those children, that's upsetting to me," Randall added.