DALLAS, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dallas County Schools (DCS) and Force Multiplier Solutions (FMS) are launching BusGuard, a fully integrated security and transit management system that is scalable and upgradable, featuring live real-time video and audio with additional options and special features based on the needs of each school district. The BusGuard System will revolutionize school bus transportation throughout the state of Texas.
Parents and educators share the same safety concerns for students traveling to and from school, including vehicular accidents, on-board bullies, hit and runs by stop arm violators, stalking pedophiles, hijackings, break downs and lost children. These fears are well founded. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 800,000 nonfatal victimizations among students occurred in 2010. These incidents included everything from simple assaults and thefts to sex crimes and kidnappings—many on or near a school bus.
"Since we have introduced this program, our goal has been to ensure every student is transported safely to and from school every day," said DCS Superintendent, Dr. Rick Sorrells. "Throughout Texas, student safety is a top priority, which is why we want to provide this program to other cities," Sorrells continued.
The BusGuard system uses cutting-edge smart technology to address those concerns, raising student safety to an all new level:
- Real time 3G/4G communication via two-way voice over IP;
- Multiple interior cameras to provide live security;
- Multiple stop arm cameras to deter and fine violators;
- "Thumbs-Up!" thumbprint scanner to ensure student manifest and routes;
- Automatic Vehicle Locator and Tracker with GPS and Accelerometer to report live telemetry data
- "Pedophile Finder" rear-facing camera; and
- Driver "Panic" Emergency button.
BusGuard also offers an Inertia Sensor, Vehicle Diagnostics, Automatic Generation of Reports, Automatic Data Download and alternative RFID sensors.
DCS tested student safety concerns with an internal pilot program in 2006 and followed up with a search for information from sources outside the District. We found the number of violations to be staggering. A Texas Transportation Institute study by Texas A&M estimates 16,450 violations occur every day in Texas. That's 2.96 million violations each school year in the State of Texas. A 28-state study by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation found that one-third of more than 100,000 school buses were illegally passed each day. All of this further underscores the need for increased student safety.
DCS first piloted the School Bus Stop Arm Camera feature of BusGuard in Texas during the 2012-2013 school year. In addition to Dallas, BusGuard has been installed in San Marcos CISD and Judson ISD. Pilot programs for the BusGuard system are currently underway in Birdville ISD, Cleburne ISD, Carroll ISD, Colleyville ISD, Comal ISD, Eanes ISD, East Central ISD, Garland ISD, Grapevine ISD, Lake Travis ISD, Leander ISD, New Braunfels ISD, North East ISD, Round Rock ISD and Socorro ISD. With this initial round of installations and pilots, the BusGuard System is reassuring student safety to parents of more than 200,000 students every day.
The key to the rapid success of the statewide program is a restructured partnership between DCS and FMS which enables the BusGuard program to be offered at no cost to the school districts. This enables the BusGuard program to make possible a whole new level of safety to every student in Texas even in these challenging economic times.
The no-cost BusGuard system helps solve many of the issues transportation departments face today, generates revenue for the school districts, and protects our most precious gift, our children.
Dallas County Schools is a county school district that provides services and resources to independent school districts and government entities throughout the State of Texas. Among its many services, DCS is the fourth largest Pupil Transportation Organization in the country. With over 1,900 buses, 12 service centers and a staff in excess of 2,000 employees, DCS transports approximately 71,000 children to and from school safely every day.
Force Multiplier Solutions, LLC (FXS) through its Busguard and Ongo Live products, was the first company in the transit industry to provide mobile systems using real time data, video and audio. ONGO Live and Busguard are wholly owned subsidiaries of FXS, LLC. The combined company has broadened its capabilities and has developed a fully-customizable system that enables school districts or transit agencies to be managed at a centralized location on a common platform.
SOURCE Dallas County Schools