Becky Reier, the district’s transportation director, says a mobility safety program using a swipe card system is being put in place for students who ride the bus.
“It will let the student know they’re on right bus,” Reier says. “If they try to get on the wrong bus, there’s a buzzer that goes off and that can be addressed by the driver and the student. If they’re trying to get off at the wrong stop, it will alert the driver and student. It’s a nice security system for the students, the driver and the district.”
Students carry a card which they’ll swipe through a device on the bus as they board. It provides the bus driver the student’s name, picture and other pertinent data — and can also send parents a text on their phones. It’s hoped the new system will streamline the process of getting kids to and from school.
“It’s relatively new for this area of the state,” Reier says. “They have had some programs of this type in larger school systems, but we have the same challenges in the smaller school system that they do in Omaha and Lincoln. It’s important that we have this onboard before there’s any kind of a problem.”
The technology was designed by a Texas bus driver who saw the need for more enhanced student safety measures. The Kearney schools hope to have the new system in place by mid-year or by next summer.
By Brent Wiethorn, KKPR, Kearney