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Category:  Press » Education

 

Kansas City School Buses Getting Latest Safety, Security Technology

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2006-11-06 22:14:15     
Zonar Systems

Good enough is never good enough when it comes to transporting children in yellow school buses," three local school bus officials said today as they announced they are adding the latest safety and security technology to their buses.

Glen McMillan, Director of the 150-bus Blue Spring School District said, "We focus every day on making sure that nothing we do becomes so routine that we take our eyes off the ball and miss something that affects safety or security. We are now taking vigilance to the next level."

"When we pick a child up at a bus stop, we become surrogate guardians; there's a societal expectation that we do the utmost for the safety of the children entrusted to our care. Moreover, taxpayers want the most efficient operations possible," McMillan said.

He said safety, security and operational efficiency will be at center stage Nov. 5-9 when Kansas City "turns yellow." Thousands from around the nation arrive for the annual conference and trade show of the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), held at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.

Shirley Patrick, Director of North Kansas City School District said she is phasing in what is considered by many industry experts as the gold standard for school bus safety, security, and efficiency -- radio frequency identification (RFID) inspection equipment.

"Implementing a system that enables a rigorous inspection of our buses each day is emblematic of our commitment to do the best job humanly possible to protect child passengers," Patrick said.

"Beyond the obvious benefit of identifying safety problems early, we can now spot routine maintenance issues instantly and get them fixed sooner. This reduces downtime, and keeps the schedule more reliable for children, parents, daycare providers and others who depend on us," she added.

She explained that much like a building security guard making rounds and checking in at key locations, school bus drivers use a hand-held Zonar RFID reader to inspect sensor locations inside and outside the bus, entering any concerns. A wireless network transfers the information instantly to a central database at the school district.

Sue Oberweather, Director of Lee's Summit School District also is in the process of phasing in the electronic system. "We expect to have it on all of our 150 buses by the end of the year. It makes us better at what we do, and gives us more information. With a traditional paper-based inspection system deciphering a driver's hand-written notes is labor-intensive and error-prone.

The system selected by the three school districts creates a verifiable record that a thorough inspection was completed before and after every trip. Designed by Zonar(R)Systems, a respected school bus industry business partner based in Seattle, it uses electronic sensors mounted at key locations on each bus.

Importantly, the technology also includes an integrated Global Positioning System that provides real-time vehicle tracking. "Integration of the GPS and vehicle inspection data with existing route planning and maintenance software further leverages the three districts' earlier technology investments," they said. "This greatly aids operational efficiency."

The officials pointed out that one of Kansas City's four regional transportation goals in Transportation Outlook 2030 managed by Mid-America's Regional Council (MARC) is to " ... improve the safety, security and well- being of the traveling public."

They said the Zonar equipment helps meet the spirit of the goal, and is one more assurance that safety and security are addressed thoroughly.

According to the national School Bus Information Council, there is no safer way to transport a child than in a yellow school bus. Fatalities involving school bus occupants are rare events even though the nation's 450,000 school buses transport more than 24 million children every single day, completing complete nearly 9 billion student 'to and from school' trips annually.

Specialized in: Zonar - Zonar Systems - Pre-trip - Pre-trip Inspection - Bus Inspections - Bus Safety - Student Check - Child Check - Child Left On Bus - Transportation Safety - Security Sweep - Fleet Management - Transit Security - Vehicle Inspection - Inspection Compliance - Bus Gps - Bus Tracking - Bus Maintenance - Commercial Truck Inspection - Route Planning
URL: http://www.zonarsystems.com
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