There will be something different about the school buses in Metro Nashville in U.S.A. this year. All 600 of them will have a GPS monitoring device onboard. The GPS will use software that allows all Metro school buses to be tracked from a computer at the school system’s transportation headquarters. The devices onboard the buses will tell dispatchers where the buses are, where they’ve been, and how fast they’re going. The devices are so accurate that during a test run last year, officials caught several bus drivers speeding.
The new system was created in response to the snowstorm that crippled communications several years ago. During the storm, dispatchers lost track of school buses, and drivers who were stranded couldn’t get through. Children were on the road at 10:30 at night and nobody knew where all the buses were. Bus drivers were trying to get on an analog radio system that only one could talk at a time. Eventually, bus drivers will also be able to send distress signals using the new technology.