Rocky View Schools (RVS) is currently piloting a project that will see video cameras installed on 20 school buses, including some serving the Cochrane area.

Some of the cameras will be activated on Mar. 22.

RVS communications director Tara de Weerd says the safety and security of students is the number one goal of the division, and it is believed the cameras will further this goal.

"Bullying, vandalism, theft, and false liability claims are realities on school buses today," she explains. "RVS wants the right tools in place to address these situations in order to protect students, drivers, and school bus property."

"Thankfully, we are able to solve most bus incidents without the use of cameras."

The camera systems have the potential to retrieve video from buses wirelessly anytime, even when buses have been powered down. Video records are secure and will be monitored by authorized RVS personnel only as deemed necessary to ensure the safety and security of students and staff.

She says camera use in buses varies from division-to-division and is commonplace on municipal transportation.

After an evaluation this spring, de Weerd says the division may expand the project in the next school year.

The division has emailed all RVS bus families in advance to ensure they are aware of the project and the routes that will be part of the pilot.

de Weerd says they consider all feedback when completing the evaluation, and welcome parents to contact the RVS transportation department with their feedback.