2014-10-10 / Community

Cameras to be installed on school buses

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer

KENNEBUNK — Superintendent Kevin Crowley announced Monday that W.C. Cressey and Son, Inc. of Kennebunk has donated and will install five side-arm school bus cameras to Regional School Unit 21.

W.C. Cressey and Son, located on Commerce Drive, is the northern New England dealer of Thomas Built Buses and bus-related products.

The donation comes after rising complaints about school bus safety in Kennebunk. Last month, in reaction to complaints about cars driving recklessly around school buses, the board of selectmen and the district formally acknowledged September and October as “School Bus Safety” months in Kennebunk.

The district has since been working with the board of selectmen and the Kennebunk Police Department to “help educate our citizens to be cognizant of school bus safety, specifically when it comes to cars passing buses when they are loading or unloading students,” said Crowley at the Oct. 5 school board meeting.

Last Wednesday, Oct. 1, Crowley and other district administrators partnered with members of the Kennebunk Police Department, including Chief Robert “Bob” MacKenzie, to outline actions expected to increase safety measures throughout town. Some of those actions include creating a public service announcement with Kennebunk-based Video Creations, said MacKenzie, who reported that a 30-second and a 60-second PSA are currently being edited to air on the town’s public access channel and the town hall website.

“It’s going to put out there that we will be taking these calls and complaints seriously,” MacKenzie said.

Other safety measures include efforts to “update signage at each of our schools, investigate a relocation of the one flashing light on Sea Road and remedy any delays in malfunctioning lights,” Crowley said. All of the actions, MacKenzie said, will effectively convey that the town has “basically zero tolerance” for reckless behavior that compromises safety.

The district, Crowley said, is outfitting five school buses with the side-arm cameras. The school board voted unanimously Monday night to accept the donation, the value of which is estimated at $3,000.

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