Image credit: Porapak Apichodilok
A bus tracking system won’t solve all of your school’s bus-related problems. But the right solution can ease your school bus-related operations by automating manual processes and ensure students’ safety and security at the same time. A school bus tracker also goes a long way in assuring parents that their children are in safe hands.
Read: Parents and teachers call for more stringent safety measures in school buses after hearing of the shocking news of a 7-year old's death.
From a security standpoint, a mobile-based GPS school bus tracking system acts as a robust preventive measure. For example, bus speed alerts can help school administration take the right action at the right time and, thereby, prevent a mishap. This increases accountability in bus drivers.
However, not all school bus trackers have the same features. While some of them are simple GPS trackers that serve a basic purpose, some others are feature-rich that help school authorities manage their entire bus operations.
In this blog, we discuss the top five reasons why a GPS bus tracking system is a must for schools. We take into account some of the important features that schools should consider in a bus tracker.
1) Because Children's Security Ought To Be A Priority
Needless to say that security of students ought to be a top priority for all schools. In practice, however, this is easier said than done. Manual processes are not foolproof. For example, the school admin might allot a teacher or an attendant in each bus. However, these are cumbersome methods full of loopholes and are not sustainable in terms of the efforts and processes involved.
A GPS school bus tracker with a mobile app on the other hand is a quick and efficient method of ensuring students’ safety and security. By installing a GPS school bus tracking app, schools can:
- Track drivers, increase accountability: School buses are vulnerable spaces for students. Without a bus tracker, they are outside the radar of both school admin and their parents. This makes the school management and parents completely dependent on the drivers and conductors for the safety and security of their children.
A school bus tracker app gives them control over their children’s safety. This leads to more accountability on part of the drivers and the rest of the staff.
On the policy front, suggestions are already being made to the government to increase the fines levied on school bus drivers to increase accountability. These are mostly related to offences like over-speeding, overloading, jumping traffic signals, using the phone while driving, drunk driving, etc. Installing a bus tracker by schools would go a long way in complementing these policy efforts.
- Prevent mishaps: A GPS school bus tracker alerts authorities on bus speed or when the bus is delayed beyond a particular time limit. When the bus goes out of its scheduled route or crosses a particular geographical boundary pre-marked virtually - called geofencing - the administration is notified.
- Handle emergency situations better: A cloud-based school bus tracker with mobile app has all important details such as driver and student info along with actionable buttons. In case of an emergency, school authorities can instantly call the relevant driver using the buttons on a school bus tracker app.
- Warn ill-intentioned people: Having a system like school bus tracker in place sends out a strong message to outsiders. Anyone would think twice before attempting to create any mischief since the bus is within the school authorities’ and parents’ radar.
Do You Know These School Bus Rules?
A school bus driver should not be "challaned" more than twice in a calendar year.
As per Supreme Court of India guidelines, a bus driver should be accompanied by "a conductor holding effective conductor’s licence."
Schools must maintain a copy of police verification for bus staff, with their contact and address details along with referees from their hometown.
School buses should be equipped with GPS, panic button, CCTV, a first-aid box, fire extinguisher, and amber flashing lights on the top four corners, to be activated when children are boarding or deboarding.
2) Heightened Operational Ease & Efficiency
Bus tracking system is not just about monitoring students. It also enables the school administration to plan and optimize bus routes, record and track student attendance, and accomplish various such day-to-day processes with ease.
- Route and stop management: Manual mapping and allocation of routes is a tedious work. It is also prone to errors. By using a school bus tracker, authorities can easily add or remove routes. Each student can be tagged to a route with a click. Route optimization is automated that leads to better management and usage of vehicle fleet.
- Manage vehicles across locations: In terms of number of vehicles and locations, an advanced school bus tracking solution gives greater control to the management. It helps monitor and track fleet of vehicles from across branches and locations in a single dashboard.
- Student attendance is auto-captured: You no longer have to worry about maintaining students’ bus attendance and records. A school bus tracking system that is integrated with NFC or RFID cards can easily capture a student’s pick up and drop records. Besides, you get a digital record of the attendance of all students if you ever need to trace their bus attendance.
3) Stress-Free Parents, Relaxed Admin
A mobile bus tracker app gives parents timely updates about the whereabouts and well-being of their child. They save on wait times and monitor their child’s bus trips in real-time.
Parents get alerts when the child has been picked up, when he or she departs from school, or is dropped at the bus stop. All of these updates take place in real-time.
4) Handy Reports, Useful data
A school bus tracker system records all data and reproduces them as reports for the school admin. These reports provide valuable information on past and current school bus driver-related behavior, activities, timings, and trip attendance of students as well as drivers. Management can take important decisions based on these trends and reports.
5) Tracking Devices on Vehicles Mandatory
It is only a matter of time that installation of tracking devices became absolutely mandatory in public vehicles in all the states in India. The goal is to ensure safety and security of women passengers, monitor offences such as rash driving, reduce accidents, etc.
Installation of bus trackers has already been made mandatory for newly registered vehicles from 1 January 2019 by the Transport Department of the Government of India. Various state governments, such as that in Kerala, have also started to take initiatives in this direction. It is time schools took the lead in following government mandates by installing bus trackers in their vehicles.
A school bus tracking system is a quick and reliable solution to ensure the safety and security of school children. By installing a GPS school bus tracking solution, the school administration can increase accountability of drivers and ensure that buses and drivers are safe too.
There are different types of school bus trackers, some basic and some highly advanced with multiple features. With technological advancements and market growth, bus trackers are becoming more price competitive and feature-rich. Compared to the benefits it offers, the cost of a GPS school bus tracking system is minimal and every school should invest in one.