by Janessa Drainville | Sep 12, 2023 |
Tablets have become increasingly popular in classrooms for enhancing education, but did you know that they can also improve student transportation safety? Here are five ways that tablets with live GPS can help keep students (and drivers) safe while they're on the go.
Tablets equipped with student identification capabilities can help drivers verify the identity of the students boarding their vehicles and whether each student is boarding the correct bus from the correct bus stop. This can be particularly useful for large schools or those with a high volume of student transportation. Drivers can simply scan the QR or barcode on each student's ID card with the tablet's camera, and the system will validate their identity and alert the driver if students are not boarding the correct bus or at the correct stop.
When drivers have to navigate unfamiliar routes or make frequent stops, their attention is often split between the road and their map or GPS device. This can be dangerous, especially in busy areas or during inclement weather. However, tablets equipped with audio-only, turn-by-turn directions can provide drivers with the guidance they need without distracting them visually and keep them compliant with most states' Department of Transportation regulations. This feature can be especially helpful for substitute drivers who may not be familiar with the area and, depending on need, can also provide audio-visual, step-by-step driving directions.
Driver shortages can be a real challenge for districts. Routing software like TransACT's TravelTracker-Routing eliminates the need for districts to manually determine the most efficient way to consolidate routes and reduces the risk of human error by utilizing intelligent AI technology to suggest the most economical option. Routing software facilitates the removal of stops from routes that are vacant due to driver shortages or shifting student populations, reallocation of stops among remaining routes, and the rapid communication of these changes to drivers.
In addition to providing turn-by-turn directions to drivers, tablets can also help provide easy access to updated routes for drivers. Drivers can quickly access the day's approved routes, eliminating the need to print and reprint paper schedules. This can minimize the potential for accidents and delays, ultimately increasing student safety.
For parents who worry about their child's safety while they're on the bus, GPS-enabled tablets can provide a valuable tracking feature. Parents can use an associated parent app to set up a geofence (perimeter) around their child's bus stop, which allows them to receive real-time notifications when their child's bus is approaching their designated location. This feature alleviates parents' and guardians' concerns and helps ensure their child is safe and accounted for during their daily commute.
Finally, tablets can provide a reliable means of emergency communication for both students and drivers. In the event of an accident or other emergency, drivers can use the tablet to quickly send their exact location to emergency services. Conversely, if there is a weather or other type of emergency, the dispatcher can immediately communicate this to the driver and guide them in re-routing.
TravelTracker-Routing makes student transportation safer by giving bus drivers control so they know who is boarding the bus, when and at what bus stop. A student information card pops up on the tablet when you scan a student ID tag (tags contain a QR Code) using the barcode scanner option.
These cards only pop up when a district uses the barcode scanner, purchased through TravelTracker-Routing, that syncs to the tablets through Bluetooth. The scanners are more accurate than the tablet camera, work in low-light situations, and can stay on for 30 minutes at a time.
Schedule a demonstration with a Travel Tracker Routing team member for more information about the student check-in and check-out with tablets or improving bus route planning in your district.
In conclusion, tablets offer a variety of features that can help improve student safety during transportation. By providing identification verification, audio-only turn-by-turn directions, easy access to updated routes, parental tracking, and emergency communications, tablets can help ensure that students are safe, secure, and accounted for during their daily trips. With the right technology and systems in place, tablets can be a valuable tool for enhancing student safety and peace of mind for parents and district staff alike.
At TransACT, we believe parent communication is essential to efficient student transportation. Parents' expectations for clear, timely communication from their children's schools have never been higher than they are now. That's why we built TravelTracker-Routing software to help districts streamline parent communication, improve their efficiency, and more easily and safely manage today's student transportation challenges.
Is your current bus routing system making it easier for you to alleviate safety concerns? If you'd like to learn more about how TravelTracker can save you time, effort, and money, please schedule a quick conversation with our team below.