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 error.
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.”
You can learn more about Tyler Drive at our upcoming webinar presentation featuring clients including the Transportation Director of Daryl’s district. Register today!