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of 35 percent of the fines collected by year five. The rest of the revenue goes to Verra Mobility, local law enforce- ment and the court system. Graf said the technology package includes cameras


mounted inside and outside the bus, with real-time feeds that can be seen by the driver and remotely by management. “So, literally, every seat is captured by a camera,” Graf said. “We can see everything going on inside and outside of our bus. We can make sure our drivers are stopping at a stop and go light … If one of our buses is hit, our cameras capture that as well. And if there’s an accident, hostage situation or any emergency on the bus, we can review it in real time and see what’s going on.” The district’s package also includes Wi-Fi on buses,


which is a major benefit, given that their students are primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds and may not have internet at home. The system also includes a feature where students up to grade five can scan an ID card when entering and exiting a bus, which sends a notification to parents about their arrival times. “We’re not paying a dime for any of that,” Graf said.


Changing Behavior It is illegal for motorists to pass stopped school buses


in all 50 states. However, studies and police reports have found that thousands continue to do so every day, either because they are distracted, or decide to pass, despite seeing the bus stop-arm. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


noted that driver distraction is at an “all-time-high,” with over 3,400 deaths and almost 400,000 injuries in 2016. Given the likelihood of motorists passing buses with their stop-arms activated, much responsibility falls on the bus driver to keep kids safe. Districts need to comply with national standards related to safety of students exit- ing and boarding buses, while states can also make their own more-stringent laws. For example, California has required bus drivers since the 1930s to escort K-5 students across the street. And Abigail’s Law in New Jersey, which was signed in 2016, requires newly-manufactured buses to be equipped with video or sensors that scan for objects in front of or behind the bus. It was named in memory of a 2-year-old girl who was killed after walking in front of her older


We take field trips as


seriously as you do. Field Trip Management Software


www.bushive.com


46 School Transportation News • MAY 2019


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