School Transportation News is kicking off 2017 with a new monthly department that fosters a conversation between you, the reader, and a trusted adviser in the student transportation industry to questions that you have. Transfinder President and CEO Antonio Civitella was selected to launch this section.
Q: How can I make my school bus safer and more secure?
A: When people think about school bus safety and security, they often think about having enough air in the tires, functioning seat belts and even the location of where the buses are parked overnight.
We know safety and security goes far beyond these issues. Many companies, like Transfinder, are focused on the technology that is on the buses, to make sure buses are taking the proper routes, that drivers are not traveling at unsafe speeds or making unnecessary “hard stops” that can harm children and are also bad for the vehicles.
An even bigger issue these days is who is on the bus. Yes, that includes student attendance, making sure the correct students are on the bus (and no unauthorized people get on the bus) and getting off at the right location. You can also track the history of a given bus, who has ridden it, what incidents have taken place, and whether there have been previous crashes.
And how about the person at the wheel? Are you reviewing information your district is already collecting (or should be collecting) on your driver’s history? Have they passed their physical? Have they been drug tested? When? Did they pass their medical exams? Has their license ever expired or been revoked?
Some of this information could readily be at your fingertips but may be buried in a filing cabinet. Perhaps you will need to create spreadsheets for authorized personnel to easily access. It is critical to be vigilant about who is at the helm of your school buses.
Yes, Transfinder and our Marketplace partners develop the technology that could give you this information on any computer or handheld device. But the most important thing I need to share with you is this: Get your hands on driver information. Don’t passively hope information will find its way into your hands. Seek it out, make sure it is current and review it frequently.