Fifteen school districts in Texas are piloting a fully integrated security and transit management system called Busguard launched by both Dallas County Schools and local business Force Multiple Solutions.
Some of the school districts currently piloting the system include Carroll ISD, Comal ISD, East Central ISD, Grapevine ISD, Leander ISD, Round Rock ISD and Socorro ISD. Officials credit the program’s quick success to a restructured partnership between Dallas County Schools and Force Multiple Solutions that enables the program to be offered at no cost to the school districts.
What spurred a call for a solution to aid with student safety concerns was an internal pilot program Dallas County Schools conducted in 2006, and then followed up with a call for information from other school districts to compare data.
The Busguard system is an all-in-one package utilizing the latest technology to address student safety concerns. Features include real-time 3G/4G communication via two-way voice-over IP, multiple interior cameras for live security and multiple stop-arm cameras to deter and fine violators; Automatic Vehicle Locator and Tracker with GPS, and Accelerometer to report live telemetry data; a “Pedophile Finder” rear-facing camera; and a driver panic emergency button.
The system also offers an intertia sensor, vehicle diagnostics, automatic generation of reports, automatic data download and alternative RFID sensors.
Force Multiple Solutions, through its Busguard and Ongo Live products, was the first company in the transit industry to offer mobile systems using real-time data, video and audio, according to its website. The system being piloted throughout the school districts is the version specifically built for student transportation.
Dallas County Schools first piloted the School Bus Stop Camera feature of Busguard during the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to Dallas, Busguard is installed in San Marcos CISD and Judson ISD.
With the initial round of installations and pilots, the Busguard system is working on buses that transport more than 200,000 students every day, officials said.
A Texas Transportation Institute study by Texas A&M estimates 16,450 violations occur every day in the state, equaling to 2.96 million violations each school year.
“Since we have introduced this program, our goal has been to ensure every student is transported safely to and from school every day,” said Dallas County Schools Superintendent Rick Sorrells.