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Lawmakers hope to add more cameras to school buses

The Portland and Westbrook districts have had cameras inside of their school buses for several years. (WGME)

WESTBROOK (WGME) – On many school buses in Maine, video cameras are recording students during their trip.

Now lawmakers want even more cameras on board.

Right now cameras record every move a student makes on about two-thirds of school buses in Maine. They're also recording what students are saying.

The Portland and Westbrook districts have had cameras inside of their school buses for several years.

School transportation directors say what the cameras do best is provide a clear picture of any incident on a bus.

There are actually two cameras on the Westbrook school buses, one in the front and one in the back. And those cameras aren't just watching the students; they're also watching the bus driver.

Some state lawmakers hope to install video cameras on even more school buses to study their effectiveness. The Department of Education says there's no need for more study because they know they're effective.

The department's transportation administrator says cameras are being used to review and analyze bus crashes, track the behavior of students, review any incidents that occur, monitor bus drivers and account for students who have boarded or exited the bus.

Joan Harmon was a school bus monitor long before cameras were on board.

There were times when you just wished you had it so you could say, 'Here it is. Here it is,'" Harmon said.

Now she has proof right at her fingertips.

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