School Buses and GPS

Let’s face it – the world we live in can be a very unsafe place, especially for young children. Threats like kidnappers, rapists, pedophiles and murderers abound in the 21st century nightmare that we live in. There is hardly a day when you can open the newspaper or switch on the television and not find horrific stories of crime against young kids. And then there are calamities, accidents and mishaps that threaten to end young lives in a matter of moments.

It’s no surprise that fear for the safety and security of their offspring is the one thing that worries parents around the modern world. Sitting at home and biting fingernails is of little use to anyone. Some parents are doing more than that. They are getting up and taking action to protect their children.

How exactly does one protect children in this modern world? Why, by leveraging technology in the right manner, of course.

Parents around the world are lobbying at schools, both public and private, to implement the installation of GPS enabled systems on school buses. After a spate of recent incidents where students have become targets of terrorists and other disturbed individuals, schools have added radios, cameras and seat belts to improve safety on buses. GPS systems are the next logical addition to this safety net.

The GPS system in buses gives parents a way to monitor their children’s whereabouts and ensure their safety but at the same time do so in such a manner that the children do not lose their space and freedom. In real time, the system informs parents when and where their ward enters and exits school bus, without giving undue hassle to the child. It also tracks the location, speed of the school bus and can be used by school transportation supervisors to ensure that the bus driver stops at all red lights and follows traffic rules so that the life of the students is not in jeopardy.

In case of an unfortunate incident such as a hijacking, an accident or any kind of natural calamity – the GPS system aides the search and rescue operations by providing pin-point locations of the bus in real time. By knowing where the vehicle is, authorities can act much quicker and in a smarter way in order to save lives.

In addition to this, from the point of view of the school management, the GPS system can be used to track and manage bus operations, helping in reducing costs such as fuel expenses. In a world of rising fuel prices this is a great boon for schools around the world.

When the question of implementing GPS system to their bus fleet, many schools are apprehensive due to the costs and the effort involved. Contrary to the popular perception this system is very easy and extremely cost effective. (And also, how can one put a price on the life of a child?)

Many schools have already started using GPS. Schools in New York and Chicago have been using GPS systems in buses for some time now with unanimously positive responses from parents of the students. Even schools in Hyderabad, India are applying the system to insure the students against high accident rates in the city.