Friday, 22 August 2014

Why are School Districts paying so much for their mobile video camera systems?

n our normal lives we see new technology prices reduce over time, so why then are School Districts still paying so much for old DVR camera technology?

Do you remember when the new flat screen plasma TV screens first came on the market and the cost was out of this world, something like $20,000. Today just a few years later you can walk into a shop and get one for just hundreds of dollars.

So why are the traditional mobile video camera manufactuers like Seon, Angetrax, 247 Security etc still able to charge school district from $1000 to $1400 for a 1 camera system that is after all old DVR technology and not HD. These DVR systems are years old and they don't even have High Definition video. All of these DVR's are manufactured in Asia so why haven't the costs come down?

Well most of these manufactuers have actually being reducing their manufacturing costs over the past few years by getting rid of their 1 and 2 camera systems and replacing them with the 4 camera system. This reduces their inventory costs in having to hold multiple DVR options. So they actually offer a 4 camera system even if you only want a 1 or 2 camera system. They will argue well if you need extra cameras then you can add them. The reality is School Districts are paying high premiums for a DVR that has features they will never use. Not many School Bus fleets can afford or have the budget to pay for 4 cameras on every bus, many will never use the wi-fi or dual streaming features because the cost of implement these features are just way to expensive. (Article on the true costs of Wi-Fi and automatic downloading)

For School Bus fleets that are just looking for a 1 or 2 camera mobile video camera solution it just does not make sense to pay over $1000 for a DVR that you are only using at best 50% of its features. So when School Districts write Bid proposals or RFP's for a 1 camera mobile video camera system why does the specification state the need for a 4 camera DVR? is it becuase the maunfactuers are righting the specifications to fit their agenda's?

In these economically challenging times, increased fuel costs, budget cuts etc, can School Districts really afford to pay for product features they are not going to use? and allowing the traditional mobile video manufactuers to dictate the price. Should'nt your mobile video technology partner be trying to make your budget go further by providing the latest technology and innovative approaches to fit the way your operation works?
tti's approach is to put our customer first and work with you to provide solutions to over come some of the challenges you are facing. As a result wouldn't it be good if you could have a mobile video camera system that is:

  • HD - High definition allows you to view the image on a large screen, zoom in, see the detail of what actually happened
  • How about a video camera system that can be moved to other buses in minutes - makes your budget go further
  • How about making installation so easy you don't have to pay installation costs 
  • How about a built in rotating screen that drops down to help in positioning the camera, and then folds out of the way
  • SD card video storage - no moving parts, and no heavy bulky harddrives to walk around the yard
  • A locking and vandleproof case
  • How about bulkhead mounting which allows the camera head to be repositioned in minutes if you require
  • IR illumination to help in poor light 
  • You need a company that will support you..tti is there to help with any software questions, set-up, training etc
  • O yes lets make the price more realistic - $390 for a whole sytem per bus, with locking mechanism $490 per bus...
  • And of cause you want to try the product before purchasing, no problem we will ship you a free no obligation Buddy NightOwl camera system to test for 2 weeks
  • Who else has bought from tti? well our school bus customers span right across North America - they have all benefited from the savings and the flexibility of our mobile video camera solutions


School Bus accidents - Stats

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 96 percent of the estimated 8,500 to 12,000 children injured in school bus accidents annually are considered minor (scrapes, bumps, bruises, etc.).

NHTSA calculated that 4 percent of the school bus-related injuries to children -- about 350 to 475 annually -- are serious (i.e. broken bones or worse) based on the medical community's widely accepted AIS or Abbreviated Injury Scale.

An average of six children are fatally injured inside school buses annually.

About 16 children are fatally injured as pedestrians in the loading & unloading zone around school buses annually. That's better than 200 percent improvement from 75 school bus fatalities in 1975; it is still not good enough.

During the seven years between 1989 and 1996, 9,500 school-age children were killed during school hours while riding in all kinds of motor vehicles.

The federal government considers school buses to be about nine times safer that other passenger vehicles during the normal school commute.

According to data gathered for NHTSA's Fatal Analysis Reporting System, about 600 school age children are killed annually riding to and from school in motor vehicles other than school buses. These fatalities occur during school transport hours (7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.), on school days (Monday through Friday) only, and during the typical 180 day school year, to children riding to and from school, mostly in automobiles.

School Bus DVR hard-drive replacements

You have a fleet of buses that have traditional DVR systems installed and they all use hard-drives. Just like the days of VHS tapes you are starting to find that your hard-drives are now starting to fail and break down. Hard-drives by their nature and design are prone to mechanical failure as they record the video data onto a spinning disk, a bit like the old days of vinyl records. After a while due to these moving parts and vibration of the vehicle they start to fail. Depending on when and the type of DVR system you purchased you may now find that you cannot find a hard-drive replacement unless you try and make one yourself. With hard-drives costing from $250 and upwards it might be an idea to consider replacing your video camera system for a SD Card video mobile video camera solution which costs $490 per vehicle and includes High Definition video as standard.

Why does tti only offer SD cards. There is a number of reasons why we recommend SD cards for video storage.
1. The SD has no moving parts so is more reliable than a hard-drive

2. SD cards are everywhere and are the standard for most electronics we find to day. Because of this there are huge cost savings with SD cards starting from around $20-$60

3. SD cards are small and easy to carry unlike hard-drives which are heavy and bulky 

4. Storage capacity. The argument many manufacturers make is that you need large 250GB hard-drives etc for video, however in our view this is just not necessary. With a 32GB SD card (Class 10) you can get upto 10 days of video. According to our customers if an accident or incident has happened you will be retriving that video very quckly either by demand from law enforcement or complaints from parents. The video is not going to sit around for weeks and months on the bus because if it does then it really was not an important incident at all. So why pay for months and months of storage when in reality its not even needed?

So if you are facing the issue of replacing DVR hard-drives then we welcome the opportunity of sending you a complete new camera system to evaluate for yourself and to see exactly the true value of a new camera system that only costs $490 per bus (Buddy NightOwl) and that includes High Definition video as standard.

TTI Tracking Technology Inc

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Lawsuit attacks cameras mounted on school buses in Jefferson Parish

The lawyers who have been challenging traffic cameras at intersections in Jefferson Parish and New Orleans now are launching an attack on cameras affixed to school buses in Jefferson that catch violators who disregard bus-mounted stop signs. Their latest lawsuit argues that the cameras violate the Louisiana Constitution by using civil proceedings to address moving violations and giving law enforcement power to a company motivated by profit instead of impartiality.
school-bus-cameras.jpgView full sizeThe Jefferson Parish School Board approved a program in 2007 that uses cameras inside buses as a security measure against student misbehavior and driver wrongdoing, and cameras installed on the exteriors of buses to generate tickets for drivers blowing past when children are boarding or disembarking.
"It's the very same constitutional issues that we raised in the red light lawsuit," said Joseph McMahon, a lawyer who says he has signed up more than 20 plaintiffs in the school bus camera case and seeks to turn it into a class action. He filed the case last month in 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna.
The Jefferson Parish School Boardapproved a program in 2007 that uses cameras inside buses as a security measure against student misbehavior and driver wrongdoing, and cameras installed on the exteriors of buses to generate tickets for  drivers blowing past when children are boarding or disembarking.
The program was slow to move, however, because of installation problems and resistance from drivers who own their buses. School system officials said nine owner-operators now have the cameras, along with six buses run by a transportation company. That's a small portion of the 338 buses that traverse the parish for the public schools every day.
As currently written, the lawsuit spares the parish School Board as a defendant but instead targets an ordinance passed by the Jefferson Parish Council in 2008 allowing the creation of school bus traffic camera programs and setting fines from $295 to $500. McMahon said he could later add the School Board to the suit.
The New Orleans City Council created a similar ordinance in 2010. Education officials said last week that none of the buses operating under the Orleans Parish School Board have cameras and seven buses serving the Recovery School District are equipped with cameras but have yet to generate any tickets.
The lawsuit says the Jefferson program violates drivers' due process rights because the parish ordinance, "immediately assumes a plaintiff guilty or liable of overtaking a school bus simply because the plaintiff is the registered owner of the vehicle photographed."
The complaint says the program deprives drivers of the ability to confront prosecution witnesses against them, such as police officers, because the only witnesses are automated devices. It says the ordinance allows the parish to overstep its authority by carrying out enforcement on streets controlled by cities or the state.
Parish Attorney Deborah Foshee said she could not comment on details of the ongoing case.
The lawsuit names Redflex Traffic Systems of Phoenix as the company receiving enforcement powers that the plaintiffs deem invalid, although Redflex is not the company operating the school bus cameras. That job went to a Harahan firm called ONGO Live. A Redflex spokesman said Redflex doesn't offer a bus camera service.
McMahon said the Redflex name serves as a placeholder in the suit as he gathers more information for the case.
Redflex is the company that installed fixed cameras at intersections across Jefferson Parish. Those cameras have long sat dormant, however, after the Parish Council suspended the program amid concerns about portions of ticket proceeds going to lobbyists for the firm. Redflex then sued the parish over the camera freeze and its share of money already collected through tickets. Parish government has been holding about $20 million generated through the cameras in escrow.
That case remains pending, as do the other cases filed by McMahon against the validity of cameras as enforcement tools.
The contract between the School Board and ONGO Live directs 60 percent of the bus camera revenue to the company, 20 percent to the school system and 20 percent to the Sheriff's Office, which has deputies review the gathered footage of drivers. School officials said the district's share comes to about $20,000 a year and goes toward buying computers.
As part of his investigation, McMahon said he is seeking the number of tickets generated by school bus cameras in Jefferson Parish. School officials said they don't have immediate access to that data.
Mark Waller can be reached at mwaller@timespicayune.com or 504.826.3783. Follow him on Twitter at MarkWallerTP or Facebook at Mark Waller Times-Picayune.
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Lawsuit: Tusc. school negligent in school bus sexual assault

Posted: Nov 08, 2012 3:43 PM PSTUpdated: Nov 08, 2012 3:43 PM PST

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A new approach to mobile video surveillance

A new approach to mobile video surveillance - 

its time to switch to Plug & Play

With such economical challenges facing fleet & transportation directors its time for a different approach. It does not make sense to be paying thousands of dollars for black box DVR and camera systems currently being offered by the major manufacturers. Firstly they are expensive, but also you cannot move them, which means you have to fit a DVR system to every vehicle in the fleet...so in reality only a few vehicles are installed each year. Surely it would be great if you could move the camera system in minutes to a vehicle that is having issues whether thats driver or passenger. Not only that a system that doe snot include extra installation costs, is easy to use and captures High Definition video. Its amazing the leading DVR manufacturers like Seon Design and AngleTrax, Safety Vision do not offer High Definition as standard. The reason is that they can still sell old technology for a premium cost because if they all do it you the purchaser have no choice.

Plug & Play systems are a different approach and Transportation Directors are switching to them, isn't time you had a look at them.?

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The benefits of Plug & Play mobile video cameras for your fleet
Truly flexible mobile video camera solutions with great savings
We are seeing a growing trend in the school bus transportation market with more and more Transportation Directors switching from the traditional fixed big black box DVR to the flexible plug & play solutions now available on the market.

The traditional mobile DVR is quite large and is usually located under the drivers seat. The cameras are then positioned onto the bulkhead and require fixed wiring behind the bulkhead panels. This adds extra installation costs from $150 - $250 per vehicle. Access to the DVR is difficult since it is located under the driver seat and makes collection of the video data extremely difficult. The DVRs themselves that are offered in the school bus market are based on old technology and firmware and do not capitalize on consumer electronics which have economies of scale savings and the lastest High Definition quality video. Because the DVR is fixed and so are the cameras it means that you have to purchase a system for every vehicle, which gets extremely expensive when these systems start from $1000 - $$2500

Plug & Play mobile video surveillance cameras offer Transportation Directors a number of key benefits. They have High Definition video quality so you don't need as many cameras on a school bus. They can be powered either by the cigarette power socket or wired to the battery so moving them to other vehicles is extremely easy. With different mounting options available you can install bulkhead mounts in every vehicle and move the camera units to vehicles you want to monitor. This means great savings. With solutions using SD Cards, with no moving parts and built into the camera itself you can easy take the SD Card out and view the footage on a PC. Also with cameras with built in screens you can actually see where the camera is pointing and make adjustments as required. With solutions starting from $295 Transportation Directors have a real flexible solution that fits their budget requirements.

tt-i offers the latest in plug & play mobile video surveillance cameras that have High Definition video, GPS, speed, location etc

For futher details view www.tt-i.info