Virginia City Equips Buses With GPS Trackers
When discussing student transportation safety, Virginia city officials asked themselves various important questions. These questions included a number of what if scenarios that basically discussed the level of preparedness schools had if something happened to one of the buses in their vehicle fleet. What they discovered through this evaluation process was a number of shortcomings, and possible solutions to those shortcomings. One of those solutions was a simple answer: GPS vehicle tracking.
Currently, school bus drivers in Bristol, Virginia use radio communication systems to stay in contact with fleet managers. This has been the primary method of communication between bus drivers, fleet managers and bus garage officials for decades. Although this method of communication has provided some moderate level of success it still relies upon the bus driver to be in control and also does not allow for remote access to bus locational information. This is where GPS tracking can take transportation safety and communication to the next level. After reviewing the current bus communication systems, Bristol Mayor Jim Steele along with other city officials decided more needed to be done to address all of the what if scenarios. The final analysis was that GPS trackers would provide the best solution because bus fleet managers could have constant real-time access to every bus in operation out in the field.
Real-time GPS tracking data could be crucial in many of the what if scenarios and give first-responders the most accurate information possible. Time-saving information that could literally result in student lives being saved in a emergency situation. Bristol currently has 26 buses used for transporting child students and hopes to have all of the buses outfitted with GPS tracking devices as a proactive measure in the very immediate future. School district officials also explained that the GPS systems would be most helpful in after-school activities where buses will transport students at night. For example, when a athletic team visits a neighboring school for competition. At this point in time no concrete date has been established for purchasing and installing of GPS trackers for Bristol school bus fleets. However, city officials are optimistic that once the investment in school bus tracking devices is made that city transit buses could be next in line to be equipped with GPS tracking technology.