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Webinar Recap: Safeguard Students Getting On and Off the Bus

Every day, millions of students ride the school bus to and from school. Stop-arm violations are one of the biggest risks to student safety in North America. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, students are most at risk as they approach and leave the school bus.

In this webinar, BusPatrol and Zonar discuss some of the ways that they can improve student safety. The two safety technology companies recently launched an exclusive partnership and are working together to equip school buses with life-saving technology.

The webinar, which went live on 13th August 2020, featured presentations from Jean Souliere, CEO of BusPatrol, Kevin Mest, Senior Vice President and GM Passenger Services at Zonar, and Terry Dell, Senior Director of Channel Sales at Zonar. Read on to discover a few takeaways from the discussion, or you can watch the full webinar here. 

What are the trends and challenges that are affecting student transportation in 2020?

Kevin opened the discussion by discussing the market dynamics and emerging trends currently affecting student transportation. Student transportation is becoming increasingly regulated, with new legislation such as the Paul Lee Law and NYC Mandate for GPS making it easier to protect students using technology.

He described the major dangers facing students as they travel to and from school, and the concerns for school districts and student transport professionals. Stop-arm violations continue to be the number one safety issue in the country. The school bus is an extension of the classroom, and it’s essential that students are safe as they travel to school.

Finally, Zonar considered the effects of COVID-19 on the industry. A number of school districts will be attempting to introduce new safety procedures such as disinfecting vehicles, tracking students, and managing new class schedules which include both in-person and virtual classes. Unfortunately, the economic impacts of COVID-19 mean that many schools will be trying to do more with less revenue. Technology like Zonar and BusPatrol’s can make it easier for school districts to enhance student safety in these uncertain times.

A stop-arm enforcement solution at no cost to school districts or municipalities

Jean Souliere presented BusPatrol’s unique solution to enhancing student safety at no cost to school districts or municipalities. BusPatrol’s stop-arm enforcement technology is one of the most widely deployed school bus arm enforcement solutions in the world and by the end of 2020 will be on around 50,000 buses.

The program aims to change driver behavior and protect students from the increasing risk of stop-arm violations. Jean explained that it’s more than just issuing tickets, it’s about using the data to plan and execute routes effectively. As well as this, he emphasized the importance of full-fleet deployment. If you want to ensure complete student safety, you cannot just equip a fraction of your fleet. This technology needs to be on every single school bus. This also means that school districts will have access to more accurate data.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the program is that student transporters can equip their fleets with this advanced cloud-connected technology at zero cost. BusPatrol’s unique business model means that the violators become the revenue stream, and money raised through ticketing is used to fund technology and educational programs.

A holistic partnership

Terry Dell from Zonar was last to speak. He described in detail the partnership between Zonar and BusPatrol, and how it can benefit schools and student transport professionals.

Student safety is at the heart of this partnership. Together, BusPatrol and Zonar offer a holistic school bus stop-arm safety program, which can ensure the safety of students as they travel to and from school, at no cost to you or your district.

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