Threats Require Increased School Bus Security
published on June 25, 2019 by Sonia Mastros
In recent years, school districts around the country have had to improve security in response to ever more shootings, violence, and even terrorist activity. It's a dangerous world, and schools have to be prepared. However, all too often a district will focus all its efforts on their school buildings and other immediate property, while mostly overlooking school bus security.If someone was looking to do harm to students, a school bus would be a perfect target. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to help protect your buses. New technology can minimize the chances of sabotage, track ridership, and more. These are some must-have tools to keep your buses safe.
Three Technologies That Help Improve Your School Bus Security
1. Barcode-Tagged Inspections
Chances are, you already require your bus drivers to do some form of walkaround inspection prior to starting up the bus - but how thorough are they really being? Would they spot a foreign object lodged in a wheel well, for example?
A barcode-based inspection system can ensure a higher level of security. You can place tags everywhere you want the driver to check, and they have to scan each tag manually with a hand wand to verify they actually did the check. If they ever skip over parts of the inspection, it would be logged through their lack of proper scans.
2. RFID Student Logging
Many districts have begun embedding RFID chips in their students' ID cards, and these can be an excellent way to keep a log of everyone who gets on and off your bus. A simple scanner mounted at the door(s) ensures you know exactly who's onboard at any given time. The driver will also know if someone gets on without ID.
Beyond increasing school bus security, such a system can also help in numerous administrative tasks, such as guaranteeing accurate ridership information in your paperwork.
3. GPS Bus Tracking
If one of your buses went off-course -or, worse, was hijacked- how long would it take you to know? With GPS tracking on your buses, the answer is "instantly." When you have a GPS system linked to maps in your home office, you'll know exactly where every bus is on a moment-by-moment basis. Should they ever deviate from their set route, an alarm will let you know within a matter of seconds.
That's the sort of response time that can save lives.
How Are You Improving School Bus Security?
These aren't pleasant topics to think about, but it's a necessity as things currently stand. What does your district do to keep your buses safe from attack? Let's talk about it below.