SEATTLE — Smart fleet management technology supplier Zonar has created a checklist to help California pupil transporters ensure full compliance with a law requiring child-check reminder alarm systems on school buses.
The Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law requires all school buses in the state to be equipped with the systems and for bus drivers to be trained on those systems by September 2019.
The law, which aims to prevent students from being left behind on the bus, also enforces penalties for officials who fail to notify the California Department of Motor Vehicles of students that have been left unattended on a school bus.
As SBF previously reported, the passage of the law in 2016 was prompted by the death of Hun Joon “Paul” Lee, 19, in September 2015. Lee, who had autism and was nonverbal, died after he was left unattended on a school bus during a heat wave with the windows shut for several hours.
"We believe that anyone who works with children understands the great responsibility they are charged with. Sadly, even the best-intentioned person can make mistakes which can have tragic consequences," said H. Kevin Mest, senior vice president of passenger services for Zonar. "We want to help school districts ensure the safety of their students and passengers, which is why we developed an easy-to-use guide for those needing help through the decision-making process."
Vehicles dedicated to transporting special-needs students must already be compliant. Due to the complexities involved with updating each school bus in a fleet, lawmakers granted an extension for all general passenger school buses to have the necessary technology on board by September.
The checklist includes:
• A work-back calendar.
• Survey and assessment questions for drivers and stakeholders.
• An equation to forecast installation time per vehicle.
• A guide on identifying and choosing the right vendor.
Download the checklist here.