Santa Rosa County District Schools, BusPatrol partner to stop reckless drivers

Special to the Santa Rosa Press Gazette | USA TODAY NETWORK

MILTON —Santa Rosa County District Schools is working with safety technology company BusPatrol (https://www.buspatrol.com/) to improve road safety for students this back-to-school season.

The district has embarked on a pilot program, equipping five of its buses with AI-powered stop-arm cameras to deter drivers from illegally passing stopped school buses. The program will run for up to 45 school days.

A child walks onto a school bus in Santa Rosa County in this file photo.

"We are excited to introduce this technology into the school district to provide a safer environment for our students at the bus stops," said Travis Fulton, director of purchasing and contract administration for Santa Rosa County District Schools.

Santa Rosa County District Schools believe this pilot program will highlight the need for better enforcement of school bus safety laws in the state. Results from the trial program will be used to campaign for legislation to authorize the use of automated stop-arm cameras throughout Florida.

This will provide valuable data including where and when violations are most likely to occur. The school district will be able to use the results to make data-driven decisions, and share this information with law enforcement to improve enforcement at "violation hotspots."

“Changing legislation around school bus safety technology in Florida is the first step to improving driver behavior around school buses,” said Jean Souliere, CEO and founder at BusPatrol. “The results from this pilot program will be crucial in our campaign for better legislation and better technology to make roads safer for children as they journey to school.”

According to reports (PDF chart - https://bit.ly/3BiRlPj) from the Florida Department of Education, in a single day more than 10,000 drivers in Florida unlawfully pass stopped school buses, putting children at risk. 

Additionally, drivers show little sign of correcting this behavior, with almost a third (28 percent) admitting to cutting off a school bus because it was moving too slowly in a recent AAA survey (https://bit.ly/38hAsYT).

BusPatrol is a safety technology company with the mission of making the journey to and from school safer for children.

BusPatrol's safety programs change driver behavior and create a culture of awareness and responsibility around school buses. In addition, they provide accessibility for school districts, and municipalities to modernize their entire school bus fleets by outfitting them with the latest stop-arm, route planning and route execution technology.