The safety of students is urgent, as seen in the NHSTA data from 2011 to 2020: 52 percent of the school-age pedestrians ages 5 to 10 years old were killed in school transport-related crashes. In school-transportation-related crashes, there are 1.6 times more fatalities among pedestrians than occupants of school transport vehicles.
It is a challenge for fleet managers to track all their vehicles, the respective drivers, and ensure everyone’s safety each trip. Thankfully a school bus fleet management software will help you manage all these needs, oversee every bus journey, and meet all your school bus safety goals.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Having a K-12 School Bus Safety System is Critical for Every School District
- 2 Factors to Consider when Choosing School Bus Fleet Management Software
- 3 Check Out Part Two
Why Having a K-12 School Bus Safety System is Critical for Every School District
The right school bus fleet management software will promise safety for students, drivers, pedestrians, and anyone else on the road. The exterior and interior cameras capture potential road risks and alert the driver in real-time. This allows the driver to react responsibly and proactively to better prevent crashes.
School bus administrators and key company decision makers gain full visibility of their fleet. They have access to important data like real-time locations, driving behavior, exterior dash cam incidents, and school bus maintenance states. Based on all this information, they have a more complete picture of their resources and can manage these efficiently.
“The peripheral camera views can identify where a student was in relation to the bus or where the parent was waiting for the bus. You can recast or reorganize historical moments through video versus the witness testimony. So these two peripheral views are really useful in terms of road contexts and added visibility to pedestrians, parents, and students outside the bus.”
– Adam Kahn, Netradyne, Chief Business Development Officer
Netradyne’s Driver•i also recognizes both positive and risky driver behavior. School bus drivers have direct access to their performance data, allowing them to have autonomy over their professional improvement.
Managers have the ability to identify data from their best drivers to reward them accordingly. They can provide them with gift cards, cash bonuses, or any incentive that will help them retain the best school bus drivers in their fleets.
School bus fleet management software also helps improve your company’s logistics efficiency. The data it provides such as hours spent driving, routes taken, risks recorded, and positive behaviors, enable managers to better plan the route drivers take to and from school.
Factors to Consider when Choosing School Bus Fleet Management Software
Choosing the best school bus fleet management software is overwhelming at first. Narrow down your choices based on the following factors:
Alignment With School District Goals and Objectives
The fleet management software provider should have similar goals as your own school district goals and objectives, which are likely prioritizing student safety in the most efficient way possible.
Look for fleet management software providers that emphasize fleet safety and reducing risk in their mission and purpose.
Ease of Use
The software should be intuitive and easy enough for anyone in your fleet to use. Whether they’re the driver, manager, or staff, they should be able to access the information relevant to them and use it to their advantage.
Apart from the features offered, review how these are presented. The interface should be easy to read, and the information organized yet accessible.
School bus fleets run on limited budgets, so you want a provider that helps you save money. Explore pricing options and see how they base it on your needs, if it’s within your budget, and the ROI gained.
Reasonable fleet management software providers are likely to base it on the number of vehicles in your fleet and any specific features you’re after.
Features and Capabilities
Of course, you want features and capabilities that serve your fleet’s needs. Not all camera systems are created equal. Features that may be particularly important for a school-bus include external cameras that provide a 360-degree view, in-cab audio alerts, fleet tracking, and a strong coaching program, including automated driver coaching.
The camera system help serve as the eyes for school buses, while the audio alerts act as the ears for drivers in case of risky behavior. Combined as a strong force, these capabilities ensure drivers are actively aware of their surroundings.
You also want a provider that offers full software support. The company should have reliable and accessible customer service for you to reach.
They should help with onboarding your fleet and providing the necessary tools to transition your team into using the fleet management software.
Flexibility and Scalability
The cameras integrated into the fleet management software should provide a 360 degree view around the vehicle. It should give drivers access to areas that are otherwise blind spots or something they’d miss on the road.
Any risks or potential accidents the cameras recognize will be translated into driver alerts so that safety is prioritized in safely transporting students. All these features should be flexible enough for every school bus and easy to scale as your fleet grows larger.
Data and Analytics
Many companies can provide advanced data and analytics so that all driver alerts, recorded footage, and performance coaching happen through the software.
Discuss with the provider how they generate and analyze the data. An important factor is to make sure it is through AI automation and machine learning. And ask how it’s integrated into the overall system.
Security and Compliance
The data gathered through the fleet management software should be secure and only accessible to relevant parties. You want a company that assures the technology positively helps the fleet in being proactive about compliance. Vision-based compliance management through the dash cams helps detect and correct violations as they occur.
Ensure the safety of bus drivers and maintain the CSA scores your fleet requires with this proactive feature. By intervening before a violation occurs or promptly identifying it, drivers correct their behavior in real-time.
Check Out Part Two
It is important to remember why having a K-12 school bus safety system is critical; by employing technology solutions like fleet management software in school transportation services, we help keep our students safe while they travel to and from school, improve overall efficiency, reduce operating costs and prevent security breaches.
Ultimately these are predictable outcomes that parents, administrators, and board members alike should strive for.