May 25, 2024

Modern Student Safety Solutions: A Driver’s Perspective

Author: Elizabeth Davidson
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As student-oriented technology has rapidly developed and improved, parents have demanded districts provide the same accountability for students riding the bus that they expect in the classroom. When we recently spoke with Daryl Barry, a school bus driver in Barrington, Illinois, she reflected on how expectations for student safety on the bus have evolved over the years and how the Tyler Drive on-board tablet helps parents and drivers feel confident that their students are safe.

We discussed a few processes and technologies that have come a long way in a short period of time, such as the method drivers use to use to verify that all children had gotten off the bus at the end of a route. Daryl knew the importance of supporting drivers with tools that help them double check this information from one of her past positions. A driver at a district she previously worked for had accidentally left a child on a bus, and even though the student was ultimately unharmed, parents were understandably angry and apprehensive after the fact.

She knew that the installation of child check alarms at the
back of the bus had helped, but found that they didn’t always go off if the bus
was shut down in the wrong order. She was concerned that it left room for

After transitioning to her current role in Barrington, she
was relieved to learn her bus would be equipped with Tyler Drive. “It’s very easy
to learn, very intuitive for drivers and students. With Tyler Drive, students
scan their individual ID cards to get on and off the bus, so if a student
doesn’t scan off, I get an alert.” This ensures that the driver knows to double
check the bus when they go back to turn off the alarm, to confirm whether the
student was left behind or merely failed to scan off properly. As Daryl said, “I
know exactly who I’m looking for. It makes it almost impossible to lose track
of a kid. I think that’s great.”

Daryl also told us how using Tyler Drive makes a driver’s
route easier to navigate. “It’s much better and safer than using a paper map to
navigate. If there is roadwork being done or a new traffic pattern, the system
can reroute on the fly or drivers can pull over to manually find a solution on
the map to make sure every kid gets to their stop safely. Plus, I always know
if a new student or stop has been added since the last time I drove the route
because it updates automatically with that information.”

Ultimately, Daryl felt that employing the latest technology
has given the district’s drivers and parents peace of mind that their students
are safe: “We are all human, and, even with the most careful driver, an accident
can happen. Tyler Drive provides another level of security so kids are safer,
and drivers and districts are protected from risks,” she said. “I think it’s a
great safety feature to have.”