2WTK: Guilford County School's Outside Bus Cameras Led To Zero Convictions

5:30 PM, May 21, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Paying taxes is never fun; however, for some it's easier knowing the money is going to help make children safer. But what if 2 Wants To Know told you thousands of dollars were spent on a safety program that's produced zero results?

Since 2011, Guilford County Schools has installed a single camera on the outside of 75 buses. The devices cost about $15,000 total and were supposed to help catch and prosecute motorists who run the bus's stop arm, but a 2 Wants To Know investigation has uncovered not one video has led to a conviction - let alone a single criminal charge.

"So far we have not really experienced any benefits," Transportation Manager Jeff Harris said.

It's all about the follow through. Bus drivers were never officially trained on how to alert a supervisor they had footage showing a violation. No policy was ever put in place.

"I think we're going to have to improve our process," Harris said.

Former State Representative Dale Folwell helped pass the law which allowed prosecutors to use the video captured by cameras on school buses.

"That seems like a bureaucratic excuse and shame on them [Guilford County Schools]," Folwell said. "When you pass a law, that law can only be as good as the people in charge of actually using the product."

Guilford County Assistant District Attorney Trip Baker says his office needs all the help it can get on stop arm cases.

"Look at why cases were being dismissed, it's for lack of evidence on the charge," Baker said.

As a result of this 2 Wants To Know investigation, Guilford County Schools is putting a new policy in place.

"We're going to continue to develop our program," Harris said. "Hopefully the next time we do a story, I can say we had a 100 percent success rate in the videos we submitted."

Of course 2 Wants To Know will stay on this story and follow-up to see if the cameras end up making a difference.

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