Dashboard Camera Captures School Bus Driver Appearing To Run Red Light

11:32 PM, Sep 24, 2013   |    comments
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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Cameras are rolling all the time.

Whether you're on the interstate, walking down the street, or picking your child up from school, chances are your actions are being recorded - and you might not even know it.

A Winston-Salem bus driver was recorded by a dashboard camera appearing to run a red light.

The footage was captured Monday morning. WFMY News 2 spoke with Winston-Salem Forsyth County School's spokesman, Theo Helm, about the video.

"It's whether drivers are doing the right thing and all drivers should be doing the right thing, like all of our employees, whether someone thinks someone has a camera on them or not that's beside the point," explained Helm.

Helm said the district is not going to "rush to judgment" that the driver ran the red light. They are conducting their own investigation and say this dash video only shows one angle.

"I hope parents will understand that we care very much for the safety of children and take their care very seriously. And we will do our best to make sure that this doesn't happen again," added Helm.

This video shows dashboard cameras aren't just for police anymore.

"We are starting to see a big increase in that trend as cameras become more prevalent everywhere in the public and the cost come down quite significantly," explained Greg Leimone, private investigator and securities expert.

"People will recognize that if they're going to be on camera, they also want to be in a position where they're able to protect themselves."

Leimone owns a dashboard camera but uses it mostly for work. He says the reasons people want cameras like these range from keeping an eye on teen drivers, to catching a wreck for insurance reasons, to having a record in case they're pulled over.

"It's going to back up their story and it eliminates a lot of the drama in the courtroom you know, as to one person claiming that this specific set of circumstances is what led to the accident," explained Leimone.

The cameras can be as simple as a mounted GoPro camera for a cost of couple hundred dollars. A more expensive option is a law-enforcement grade camera. Those can cost several thousand dollars.

That type of camera can have trigger features to start recording if there is a collision or even if you reach a certain speed. For the lower-grade cameras, you have manually hit record.

Despite their small size, these cameras are capable of capturing high-definition video and hours of footage. Smartphones can even be mounted for this use. The possibilities to record and be recorded seem endless and even though it might sound intrusive - it's legal.

"Everybody is recorded these days. With or without your knowledge and usually the recordings happen in public and if you are in a public place, you're fair game," said defense attorney and former district attorney Jim Kimel.

Kimel says video like the school bus footage can be used as evidence in court as long as it's submitted in the proper way.

Catching someone committing what looks like a crime does not give you a warrant for arrest, but it can lead to an investigation.

WFMY News 2

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