Safe Fleet video surveillance captures bus driver protecting students from hijacker

A Safe Fleet school bus camera system captured dramatic footage of a May 6th hijacking, in which a Richland 2 School District bus driver’s heroic actions kept the gunman’s attention away from students. In response to the incident, the Richland 2 School District will upgrade its 170 existing Safe Fleet surveillance systems, featuring Seon-branded cameras and DVRs, with integrated live video streaming and GPS.

“We already have the ability to download video wirelessly and planned to implement live streaming,” says Wayne Norton, Transportation Director for Richland 2 School District. “Live video streaming and GPS will help us quickly assess and proactively respond to any emergency situation in the future.”

The upgraded technology will enable the school district to:

  • Give district administration and emergency responders real-time access to live video inside the bus and pinpoint the bus’s location for rapid response
  • Monitor and make better decisions in response to an emergency situation as it unfolds
  • Provide students on the bus with Internet connectivity via a Wi-Fi Hotspot

Sheriff Leon Lott of the Richland County Sheriff’s Department is helping to drive this initiative with an expressed interest in seeing live video streaming technology on all the buses in the jurisdiction. He says the hijacking of a school bus by a Fort Jackson trainee was a lesson learned about how valuable this technology can be in critical situations.

“Richland’s neighboring school district, Lexington 5, also within Sheriff Lott’s jurisdiction, is already benefiting from the increased safety and productivity of the Safe Fleet ‘Super Bus,’” says Chris Akiyama, Vice President School Bus, Safe Fleet. “This bus is equipped with live video streaming, GPS location-based services, 360° around vehicle monitoring and the Safe Fleet Predictive Stop Arm™, which uses radar technology to help protect students outside the bus. With the proven, reliable safety and performance from each individual system further enhanced through their integrated strengths,” added Akiyama, “the Super Bus or Connected Bus stands apart from all other market offerings by leveraging technology developed for a wide range of mission-critical industries that Safe Fleet supplies, including transit, law enforcement and waste and recycling.”

The Lexington 5 ‘Super Bus’ was recently on display at the South Carolina Association for Pupil Transportation (SCAPT) conference held in Myrtle Beach in June, 2021.