School Bus Crash Surveillance Video Reviewed

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Jan 09, 2012

In our continuing series analyzing real-world sureveillance video, in this note we examine footage from a recent school bus accident in Florida, in which more than two dozen student passengers, as well as the bus driver, were injured. This extremely dramatic video shows the moments leading up to the collision, and the immediate aftermath.

The Video

Here's the full video and news report:

We see three issues with the video captured (or not captured) from this incident.

Fast Camera Switching Time

The first thing viewers will notice about this video is that it switches back and forth between the two interior cameras at an extremely fast rate, approximately twice per second. This is an older method of recording multiple cameras, instead of recording each channel independently on a multiple-input DVR. The net result of this is that the video is very difficult to watch, with the scene changing between front and rear cameras so quickly.

If you look carefully, the images from the two cameras actually "ghost" over one another, as can be seen here:

Lack of Interior Coverage

In addition to the fast switching time, the interior of the bus is poorly covered by the existing cameras. The bus driver is essentially completely out of view, making it difficult to assess his actions during the incident, and causing investigators to rely on eyewitnesses to confirm the circumstances of the crash. Cameras are not of the highest quality, but provide acceptable video of activities in the bus. In the case of school buses, where passengers are known, identification-quality video is not as important, as the front camera captures detailed views of subjects as they enter the bus.

The arm in the video below is the only footage of the bus driver prior to the collision:

Lack of Exterior Video

The lack of any cameras on the outside of the bus leaves investigators without any record of exterior conditions during the collision. In this case, the front of the vehicle is the area of importance, but in some mobile recording applications, cameras are installed watching either side of the bus, as well as the front and rear, in order to view passengers entering and exiting the bus, as well as to provide footage of any collisions which may occur.

Steps for Improvement

With all the above issues in mind, we suggest the following improvements be made:

  • Multi-Channel DVR: Installing a recorder with enough channels for all cameras will immediately improve captured video. Not having to deal with the fast switching time will improve viewing of video for investigative video greatly.
  • Reposition Interior Cameras: Repositioning the camera viewing the front half of the bus so it's able to see the driver, as well as the interior would provide more usable video in cases such as this collision. This way, it could be known without doubt what the bus driver was doing leading up to the incident. Cameras with wide dynamic range capability could improve video quality somewhat, as well.
  • Add Front-Facing Camera: Adding a camera facing forward, through the windshield, would allow for clear video evidence in the case of collision.
  • Add Remote Access: The ability to remotely access video from the bus would potentially allow school staff to view video post-incident, as well as review video leading up to the incident. If integrated with G-force sensors on the bus, the recorder could also notify staff of the collision upon impact. See our review of Drivecam, a mobile video system designed for such monitoring.
Comments : PRO Members only. Login. or Join.

Most Recent Industry Reports

Reseting IP Cameras - 30 Manufacturer Directory on Sep 22, 2017
Every camera has a reset button (well, almost) but it is not always clear what these buttons do, how long they need to be held, what settings they...
80+ OEMs Verified Vulnerable To Hikvision Backdoor on Sep 22, 2017
Over 80 Hikvision OEM partners, including ADI, Interlogix, LTS, and Northern Video, have been verified as having products vulnerable to the...
Genetec Launches Cloud Access Control (Synergis SaaS) on Sep 21, 2017
Genetec's cloud everything expansion continues, with their announcement of Synergis SaaS edition, joining their cloud video offering Stratocast,...
Genetec CEO Warns Against Insider Threats on Sep 21, 2017
With Dahua and Hikvision cybersecurity issues becoming indisputable, a new counter has emerged. Just put them behind a firewall, buy cheap...
New IPVM Calculator V3 Released on Sep 20, 2017
The New IPVM Calculator V3 is released. An entirely new architecture delivers the following benefits: Turbo The calculator is now ~50% faster in...
Automatic Door Operators For Access Tutorial on Sep 20, 2017
Opening and closing doors might sound simple, but it takes a high-tech piece of door hardware to pull it off. Integrating automatic door operators...
'Clowns' Allege Ubiquiti 'Completely Fraudulent' on Sep 20, 2017
A short seller has alleged Ubiquiti is 'completely fraudulent'. Ubiquiti's CEO has responded calling them 'clowns'. Here is the short...
Avigilon 'Blue' Cloud Entry Examined on Sep 19, 2017
Avigilon is moving to the cloud. The company announced their Avigilon Blue platform, designed to be a web-managed surveillance system, utilizing...
HID Buys Mercury Security on Sep 19, 2017
One of the biggest access control deals in years. Mercury Security, the most widely used access hardware OEM, and partner to 20+ manufacturers,...
Hikvision Backdoor Exploit on Sep 18, 2017
Full disclosure to the Hikvision backdoor has been released, allowing easy exploit of vulnerable Hikvision IP cameras. As the researcher, Monte...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact