Should school buses be equipped with technology?
10 Feb 2021

Should school buses be equipped with technology?

The mustard-colored tin-can that rode off to its destination has granted parents a moment to be proud of their children for unlocking a new chapter in their lives. From early 1927 to today, school buses have changed a lot over the years. The first school bus that was built interestingly enough wasn’t meant for its intended purpose. A workforce needed to get to go from site to site and needed a mode of transport for their commutes. But they changed their mind on purchasing the Blue Bird No.1 which made Albert Luce, the builder of the bus, sell it to a school that needed help to transport students to a bigger school in the district. 

It wasn’t until 1939 a Universal set of rules and regulations were implemented that were followed by a school bus. This was where the iconic yellow color was introduced and something, which is followed to this very day. The yellow color makes it easy to spot and the flashing lights of the bus help other drivers be cautious while approaching the bus.

However, it wasn’t until 1970 school buses were being designed with safety in mind. And now we have nine emergency exits, compartmentalized seats, seat belts, and stop-arm signs installed on school buses.

Speaking of stop-arm signs, did you know that the violations for not stopping at a stop-arm sign are at a staggering 50000 per year? In a single state over 3000 stop-arm sign violations have been reported per day. 

Vehicles from both sides of the street are supposed to stop upon seeing the red and yellow flashing lights alongside the stop sign. But the number of close calls of students being hit is increasing every day. A Jewish private school was dropping the students from their buses when a reckless driver takes his minivan onto the sidewalks nearly hitting 3 students. Even though school buses are seven times safer than any other vehicle for student transportation, situations like these are something they can’t resolve and the mentality of the other drivers determines the safety of future generations.

Technology has come really far, in a way that it could be integrated for transportation and security of its passengers.

The predictive stop arm was developed by some brilliant minds which is integrated with algorithms to analyze the speed and probability of a vehicle approaching a school bus to determine if they will stop or speed through the stop arm sign, which helps the driver to give precise commands to the child crossing the road.

Other applications like loqqat, a technical and innovative school fleet management solution, help parents and the administration know the real-time location of the student during the commute. This feature ensures the safety of the student at all times and parents’ anxiety regarding their child’s safety can be nullified.

A school bus comprises 9 emergency exists 

  • Front door 
  • 4 window emergency exits
  • Roof hatch
  • Reef exit
  • And an exit on the driver’s side of the window

Besides the emergency exits, we have other technical advancements in improving the safety of school buses, such as automatic braking systems, sensors, lane change alarm systems, and even though it still has to be implemented, auto-piloted buses are currently under development to nullify human errors and save lives.

90% of the road accidents are caused by human errors, technological advancements can ensure the safety of school buses and other transports alike. 

What is your thought on this subject? Leave your comments below.

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