Fleetmatics: Tracking tech and driver screening desired for school buses

Fleetmatics Group recently commissioned KRC Research to conduct a survey to examine U.S. confidence in school bus safety, and identify the top areas for improvement.

The results find that close to three fourths of Americans (71 percent) are confident in the current state of school bus safety.  In fact, nearly 8 in 10 Americans (79 percent) are confident in the timeliness of their school buses, suggesting a high level of trust that parents and students will not be left waiting. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of school transportation as they have to meet more Federal safety standards than any other type of motor vehicle2. By comparison, a sampling of Fleetmatics’ customer data found school buses are some of the safest commercial vehicles, with less speeding and harsh breaking incidents, than vehicles in other industries, such as social services and medical.

Based on the survey results, many Americans agree there is room for improvement and want to take steps to more closely monitor school bus driver safety. Specifically, it found that close to half of respondents believe the following should be improved on school buses: more rigorous screening for drivers (55 percent), better tracking technology (45 percent) and more ways for parents and school officials to monitor (44 percent).

“School bus safety is an important issue, and our survey confirmed that a majority of people do have confidence in school bus systems, which is great news,” said Kathleen Finato, chief marketing officer for Fleetmatics.  “However, half of respondents said they still want better technology in school buses, such as GPS tracking that can help drivers, parents and school officials gain better insight into the vehicle location and activity.”

The survey also found that Americans want to be able to keep track of school buses with their digital devices. When asked which technologies should be integrated into school buses in the future, respondents thought that routing software for buses to find alternatives routes (40 percent), GPS tracking allowing parents and school officials to know the exact location of the bus (51 percent), and a downloadable app for tracking (50 percent) were important.

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