Durham School Services has seen improvements in driver behavior since deploying Lytx’s event recorders across its full fleet of 15,000 buses in December 2018. Photo courtesy Durham School Services

Durham School Services has seen improvements in driver behavior since deploying Lytx’s event recorders across its full fleet of 15,000 buses in December 2018. Photo courtesy Durham School Services

SAN DIEGO — School bus company Durham School Services recently saw improvements in driver behavior as a result of deploying a video telematics system on its buses.

Durham completed installation of video telematics supplier Lytx’s event recorders across its entire fleet of 15,000 buses in December 2018, according to a news release from the supplier.

As a result, the company experienced a significant reduction in its coachable events and risk scores from June 2019 to August 2019 compared to the same time period in 2018.

Since the bus company’s trial with the Lytx Driver Safety Program in 2014 and the full deployment last year, National Express, Durham’s parent company, has been working to equip every bus in the larger National Express family, which includes Petermann Bus and Stock Transportation, with the Lytx system, due to the improvements Durham has seen in drivers' overall safety.

"Safety has always been at the heart of our business and we pride ourselves on going above and beyond the state requirements for driver screening and selection, training and coaching our drivers," said Bob Ramsdell, chief safety officer at National Express and National School Transportation Association board member and safety and security committee chair. "The adoption of Lytx's technology into our proactive safety management program has helped us to further strengthen our commitment to safety by addressing unsafe driving behavior before it results in an accident. Now, rather than manage safety reactively, we can better focus on proactively identifying and lowering risk for each driver."

Particularly with such a large and widespread fleet, Durham School Services has found the Lytx Driver Safety Program valuable in focusing on specific unsafe behaviors, assessing driver performance and in coaching employees to be better drivers.

By supporting a new, standardized definition for risk and system for coaching drivers, Lytx's program has been not only a tool to record driver safety, but the core ingredient of Durham's holistic approach to companywide safety management, according to the supplier.

"Lytx technology has enabled us to notice critical details in driving behavior, like failing to come to a complete stop at stop signs," Ramsdell said. "This sort of attention to detail allows us to identify not just when dangerous driving occurs but to understand how it happens, so that we can better prevent risk before it leads to an accident."

Like many transportation companies, without video telematics, Durham School Services was only able to quantify individual risk by the number of accidents a driver had, according to Lytx. With the Lytx Driver Safety Program, the company has created a new definition of risk, built around instances of behaviors like seat belt violations, late responses, or unsafe following distance.

Lytx combines machine vision and artificial intelligence with professional review, designed to present a customized and accurate view of risk with greater than 95% accuracy across more than 60 risky driving behaviors. The result is actionable, personalized insights about each driver, including opportunities to improve driving habits.

Working with Lytx to design policies around its program that would help support a strong safety culture, Durham School Services implemented a new companywide approach to coaching drivers. The company also designed a proprietary driver safety scorecard that outlines each driver's record and improvements, enabling the managers to see a full snapshot of all drivers' performance.

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