RFID Helping To Improve Student Safety, Security On School Busses

An RFID solution from Zonar Systems is helping to enhance safety and security on schools buses by identifying when and where a student enters or exits the bus.

The company’s ZPass system works without any intervention or action from the student. Each student is issued an RFID card that can be kept anywhere near them, like in a backpack, purse or wallet. The card doesn’t have to be visible for the system to work.

As the student passes the card reader when entering or exiting the bus, time, date and location are logged and transmitted to a secure database. A school system can then access the information if necessary.

The ZPass system ties into Zonar’s HD-GPS technology that tracks bus location and other information like speed, each stop and start, and the time, date and location at which the door is opened.

"Safety, security and accountability are fundamental expectations when children ride school buses,” said Bill Brinton, Zonar System senior vice president of marketing. “The industry record is already stellar. But RFID technology now makes the job easier and gives school bus operators, school officials and parents the peace of mind that comes from knowing where their children are while making their trip to and from school.

"Following events of 9/11, the school bus industry audited its safety and security efforts, and technology solutions are being embraced because of their accuracy and reliability. In the world we live in today, parents understandably want and deserve this peace of mind."

Districts using the system say the extra monitoring helps ease any fears from parents about their child’s safety.

"It's all about the safety of the children entrusted to our care,” said John Harris, transportation supervisor for the Quincy, Wash., school system. “We are installing it now in our buses, and the initial experience has been good. It builds extra confidence, and parents like it."

To alleviate any privacy concerns, the system features built-in safeguards, and no personal information is stored on the card. All data collected is controlled and confined to the school district.

About the Author

Brent Dirks is senior editor for Security Today and Campus Security Today magazines.

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