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Weston Amps Up School Bus Safety

After renewing a five-year contract with First Student Bus Co. , the Weston Public Schools delivered a list of safety requests. When the new fleet of buses arrives in a few weeks, the town will have two cameras with audio capabilities installed on every bus, said Dave Lustberg, transportation coordinator for Weston schools.

The town will pay for the equipment, and First Student will pay for a GPS for every bus so the bus garage and Lustberg can track every vehicle within a 30-second delay. The cameras, in the front and the back of the buses, will have a full view of the inside the vehicles and will save the tape recordings for up to 30 days.

"We're hoping that the new safety measures, the tracking of buses, the video, will make [parents] feel a little more comfortable," Lustberg said. "They should feel comfortable anyway because all the buses are safe."

Scott Decais, a former Weston driver, was arrested earlier this summer on charges of making threats against town officials. Superintendent Jerry Belair and Lustberg said no problems had been reported with Decais for several years. After some complaints were made the year before last, he was transferred to Stamford.

Lustberg, who said 18 of the 22 drivers are returning, said that signs letting the children know they are being recorded should make them think twice before misbehaving.

He encouraged concerned parents to contact him with questions or requests to meet their child's driver.

"I'm a Weston parent, too; my youngest is starting kindergarten this year, so I understand," he said. "You have anxiety putting your kid on a bus, especially for the first time, especially if they're young. But we want them to know that we have a really good group of drivers."

Contact Dave Lustberg by e-mail or at 203-291-1477.

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