School Bus Fleet

July 2014

A management & maintenance magazine for school transportation fleets

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41 J U L Y 2 0 1 4 • S C H O O L B U S F L E E T Suffolk Transportation launches child-check bus safety solution BAY SHORE, N.Y. — School bus contractor Suffolk Transporta- tion Service Inc. announced in April that it is launching a cus- tomized bus safety solution in partnership with Child Check- Mate System and Zonar. The new system, which was commissioned by Suffolk Transportation Service, institutes multiple safety checks for sleeping or unseen children at the end of a school bus route. Child Check-Mate System Inc. offers an alarm system that reminds drivers to check for sleeping children at the comple- tion of each route, and Zonar provides electronic vehicle in- spections, feet GPS tracking and remote diagnostic systems. With the safety solution on Suffolk Transportation Service's buses, when a child wakes up and moves around the vehicle, Child Check-Mate System's Double Check feature will turn on the vehicle's interior lights, speak to the child and activate Zonar's system, which will send a message to bus company employees so they can respond. "We invest heavily in recruitment and training, and we have an excellent staff of professional drivers as a result," said Tom Smith, director of the school bus division at Suffolk Transportation Service. "But we're all human, and even the most conscientious drivers make mistakes. So, this invest- ment in technology is just another way we're helping to miti- gate human error." During the development of the integration of the Child Check-Mate and Zonar solution, Suffolk Transportation Ser- vice solicited feedback from the Suffolk Region PTA, the Bus Safety Advisory Board and Lindenhurst (N.Y.) Public Schools. Through these consultations, offcials said Suffolk Transpor- tation Service was able to design a custom solution that not only meets the company's requirements, but also addresses the needs of stakeholders. "The technology has evolved in a way that will enhance bus safety, and we as a district recognize that by utilizing this technology, we are signifcantly improving the overall welfare of our students," said Jacqueline Scrio, assistant superinten- dent for business and non-instructional personnel at the Lin- denhurst Public Schools. Reiterating the concern for child safety in student transpor- tation, Jacqueline Wilson, president of the Suffolk Region PTA and board member of the Bus Safety Advisory Board, said, "We are very pleased that companies are making the invest- ment in time and dollars to improve the safety and reliability of our student transportation. Nothing is more important than the safety of our kids." Offcials for Suffolk Transportation Service also said that the company recently achieved a score of 99 out of 100 on a U.S. Department of Homeland Security voluntary safety audit.

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