Westminster, Md.-based Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) has partnered with BusPatrol to equip its entire school bus fleet with the company’s stop-arm cameras, as well as technology from Zonar, Transfinder, and FirstNet.
As part of the partnership, all 311 of the district’s school buses will be connected to FirstNet, a wireless communications platform used by emergency response vehicles, including the fire service, law enforcement, and school buses, according to a news release from BusPatrol.
The district will also have access to Zonar's smart fleet management solutions, which includes student rider visibility, in-cab driver coaching, and vehicle inspection reporting. Through the partnership with Transfinder, the district will gain access to route planning, mapping, student tracking, and parent apps.
Installation and maintenance costs for the stop-arm cameras and other safety technology will be covered by the fines collected from the county’s stop-arm violations, according to BusPatrol.
“Stop-arm violations are a real danger to our students,” said Mike Hardesty, director of transportation for Carroll County Public Schools. “As school buses and cars are now returning to the roads with back-to-school hybrid instruction, we want to do everything we can to make sure that students are kept safe.”
Hardesty added that “Knowing the cameras are on [the buses] will give real peace of mind to bus drivers and parents. It will also remind drivers that they need to stop whenever they see a stopped school bus on the road.”
He also said that students should remember to look both ways before crossing the road to reach their stopped school bus.
Speaking about the partnership, Jean Souliere, CEO of BusPatrol, said this is the first time an entire school bus fleet has been outfitted with not just BusPatrol technology, but also technology from the company's partners at Zonar, Transfinder, and FirstNet.
“Our safety programs go beyond issuing tickets,” Souliere said. “Through our innovative model and partnerships, BusPatrol has found a way to make integrated hardware, software, and cloud connectivity accessible to school districts.”