Seven school districts in northern Iowa will get video cameras mounted inside and outside their school buses after a seven-year-old Worth County girl was killed this spring as she approached her bus. Kim Koenigs, executive director of the Worth County Development Authority, says they want to make sure motorists are held accountable if they illegally pass a school bus.

“The reason we’re doing it is for safety of the kids and hopefully, people when they meet up with a bus will think twice about stopping,” Koenigs says. The $150,000 grant will put 87 cameras in buses in the seven school districts.

Kaydn Halvorson was killed May 10th as she attempted to cross the road to get on a bus in rural Worth County. Koenigs says the idea to put cameras in the buses was brought to the WCDA board by the Northwood-Kensett superintendent.

She says Tom Nugent came to the board and got a positive reception to the idea. The original plan was to put cameras in ten buses in five districts, but the supplier gave the organization a great deal and they were able to expand the program to seven districts.

Koenigs says each bus will have multiple cameras. She says there will be two cameras inside, with one in the front facing back and one in the back facing forward. The third camera will be outside the bus by the stop-arm, with the ability to take pictures of license plate numbers if someone passes a bus illegally.

The grant will cover cameras in buses in the following districts: Northwood-Kensett, Central Springs, Forest City, Lake Mills, St. Ansgar, Osage and Buffalo Center. No charges were filed in the incident that killed Halvorson. The WCDA is the non-profit arm of the Diamond Jo Casino near Northwood.

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City