2015-06-24 / Opinions

Opposition to buscams misguided

To me – a parent, an educator and a citizen – it’s a no-brainer: Let’s install cameras on school buses to not only save lives but generate income for the county. Upon reading the article, “Buscams: Saving kids or taxpayer cash grab?” [June 3] I am very confused. For those who remember watching “Seinfeld,” “It’s as if I’m living in bizarro world.”

First, who decided to label a criminal (defined as one who commits a crime) – in this case a person who illegally passes a school bus – as a tax-paying citizen? Is the person who robs a store now a tax-paying citizen and not a criminal? Should we dare not commit the person to prison because he or she will no longer buy goods within the county? More specifically, should people who run a stoplight not get ticketed because they pay taxes?

Second, installing bus cameras will cost local taxpayers nothing. A private company pays for the upfront costs, and the profits, which could total $7.65 million, are divided between the company and the county. Then again, if tax-paying citizens will have to pay a fine for their crime, they will not have the $250 to buy food at a local restaurant. Better to have those persons potentially kill children than take money out of a local establishment’s coffers.

Third, regarding Bermuda District Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle’s observation that a study examining the use of bus cameras showed that 77 percent of the motorists continued to illegally pass stopped buses… Huh? Crime has been reduced by 23 percent. Since when is this a bad thing?

Fourth, Robert Wingfield, the director of public transportation for Chesterfield County Public Schools, commented that home-side loading would cost $3 million dollars more because extra buses would be needed. Let’s see … where could the money come from? Further, School Board Chairwoman Carrie Coyner states that bus cameras (increasing the safety of children) and home-side loading (increasing the safety of children) “are two separate issues.” Are they?

Lastly, in “Candid on cameras: What do parents think of buscams?” [June 3], Kate Maguire, a county parent, when asked her view about installing cameras on buses, commented, “If they’re [bus drivers] yelling at the kids, they’re not driving appropriately.” What? It’s camera on a bus. What does that have anything to do with the bus driver possibly yelling at the kids? She continues, “We’re throwing money at a problem. … I don’t feel that you can throw money at changing people’s character.”

And therein lies the real reason several people within the county do not want cameras on buses: Because by installing cameras on buses, intelligent people will soon realize that government can solve problems, generate income and save lives.

Dave Goobic


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