Hardin Co. Schools: Smart GPS

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SAVANNAH, Tenn.–The Hardin County School System is using the latest technology to keep students safe as they take the school bus. This is no ordinary school bus. Sure it’s yellow and can haul dozens of students, but Hardin County School officials say GPS technology on board helps keep their children extra safe. “It helps us too as drivers to feel safer because we know that they are keeping track with us in the office where we are.” Jimmy Kennedy, Hardin Co. Bus Driver, says. The district is using some of the latest smart technology available. The ZONAR system uses real time GPS tracking and diagnostics to keep an eye on all of its buses. “One of the few things that we can look at is the location of where the bus is which is beneficial for let’s say if there is any kind of inclement weather situation or crisis on the bus such as a medical emergency.” Brian Riley, Director of Transportation Hardin Co. Schools, says. Besides tracking drivers the system keeps tabs on all of the moving parts on the bus, from the air pressure in the tires to the number of volts in the batteries. The information is sent back to the garage in real time for a mechanic to review and correct the problem keeping a safe fleet out on the road. “We have 37 routes where as 25 of them park out at their residency that we may not see on a daily basis. And this right here allows us to communicate back and forth whether it is any kind of defects on the bus.” Riley says. The system also makes bus drivers do routine checks before and after trips. Parents like Mark Kennedy say they better knowing extra measures are taken to keep his kids safe. “Well knowing that the bus drivers have to check the buses. And they got certain places to check on the buses. I know that the buses are safe to drive, safe to route, and that all the wheels and tires are gonna be good and my child will be safe on the bus.” Mark Kennedy, Hardin Co. Parent, says. ZONAR is also used in the Shelby and Warren County School Districts. The hope is that other schools will adopt the ZONAR system to keep drivers and students safe out on the open road.

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