School districts will soon not only be able to monitor if school bus drivers are completing a required check for sleeping students at the conclusion of routes but also if there is unauthorized access on the buses afterhours.
Zonar is the first vehicle telematics provider to intergrate with Child Check-Mate's Theft Mate, along with Double Check an upgradeable system that monitors school buses after hours not only for remaining passengers but also unauthorized entry. The Child Check-Mate System uses an electronic alarm to remind drivers to check for sleeping children upon the completion of each route. The patented and unique design was developed 'by drivers, for drivers' in 1993 and is the original electronic child check reminder device. The system is currently installed on nearly 250,000 vehicles in North America.
The integration allows bus operators to verify that the system is active and to receive real-time alerts to incidents on the bus, which a Zonar spokesman said can be set up through the company's Ground Traffic Control ZAlert. Both Zonar and Child Check-Mate companies said this feature "adds another safeguard to the post-trip inspection, increases passenger safety and may reduce vandalism."
"By integrating Child Check-Mate with Zonar, we are able to add several innovative and unique features. We're excited to offer these benefits to both new and existing customers," commented Gordon Both, president of Child Check Mate System, Inc.
At the end of a school bus route, drivers are often required to check their vehicles thoroughly for sleeping children. If the child check is not completed, it is possible to leave a child behind, potentially exposing them to extreme climates. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, heatstroke in vehicles is the leading cause of all non-crash-related fatalities involving children 14 and younger.
In 2012 alone, there were nearly 70 reported incidents of children being left on school busses, according to Child Check-Mate.