It is the mission of every transportation department to always provide safe and efficient transportation to all of its eligible students. Here in the Redlands Unified School District, we take that mission very seriously. To accomplish this task we incorporate the latest technology available to us.
By law, school bus drivers must perform a "pre-trip" safety inspection of over 100 items each day before putting the bus into service. To assist the driver's with this we use the Zonar® system. This includes a handheld device that the driver uses to scan specific areas of the bus and then answer questions about the condition of the area before moving on. The information is then downloaded and wirelessly transmitted to the Operations office. If the driver finds a mechanical defect the information is immediately transmitted to the Maintenance division, the mechanics are immediately notified and repairs are begun.
Furthermore, we use the same system to check the bus for leftover students when they return from both their morning and afternoon assignments. When the driver reaches the back of the bus they use the handheld device to scan a tag and certify that the bus is empty. That information is also downloaded and sent to the Operations office. If this check is not completed within a specified time limit an alarm is activated in the Operations office and someone is immediately sent to check the bus.
To facilitate communications with all drivers the District uses a highly sophisticated “trunked” radio system. This allows the drivers to communicate with the dispatchers without having to share the frequency with other businesses or people. All buses are equipped with two-way radios.
In addition to using technology for communications and inspections, the Transportation Department also has installed Global Positioning System (GPS) locators on all buses. This allows the District “real-time” access to the exact location of each bus anywhere within the North American continent. By the end of the next school year, we will have also installed an onboard computer which will allow the driver’s to track the number of students, communicate with the District when there are two-way radio problems, and call for help without needing to use the radio.
To help keep the student’s safe when they are on board the bus the District has installed video surveillance equipment in the buses. This allows the driver to spend more time concentrating on their driving and less time on the behavior on the bus.
The Redlands Unified School District is committed to providing the best possible transportation service to its eligible students and will use the best technology available to make that happen. While technology is important, the best tool that the District has to offer is the school bus driver themselves. All Redlands Unified School Bus drivers are highly trained professionals that are carefully screened and tested to ensure that they are the best of the best.