Originally published November 2, 2018
The safety of our children is top of mind for many schools and parents across the nation. As schools rethink and take new steps to better protect students, improving safety on school buses is becoming a big part of the equation, and for good reason. Every day, nearly 480,000 school buses carry more than 25 million students to and from school, activities and class trips.
Lawmakers are also getting in on the act by re-evaluating school bus safety standards. In recent weeks, school bus seatbelt safety legislation was introduced by both the U.S. House and Senate on Sept. 12. The School Bus Safety Act, H.R. 6773 would require several improvements to school buses. In addition to automatic emergency braking systems, event data recorders and electronic stability control (ESC), the bill requires school buses to provide three-point seatbelts, which data shows are far superior to standard lap belts in saving lives.
As lawmakers work to make strides forward with advances in seatbelts, school districts are also improving the safety and security of students with innovative technology and applications on school buses.
Wi-Fi on Buses = More Learning + Safety
For Bill Brown, executive director of education technology services for Greenville County Schools (GCS) in South Carolina, improving safety came as a bonus with the installation of Wi-Fi on a fleet of buses to improve learning. After a high school junior council member proposed that Wi-Fi could increase academic achievement and lower behavioral problems that arise on buses, Brown wrote a proposal and received grant funding offered by the State.