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Vail school district upgrades safety on buses with new scanning feature

Vail busses using new safety feature
Posted at 7:14 AM, Apr 29, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Vail Unified School District is working to make riding the bus safer.

“It is really using technology to enhance the safety culture on our buses,” said director or transportation, Jerry Brown.

Every time a student gets on or off a bus, they scan their individual badge on a reader next to the driver. The data of the time and location from each scan, is sent directly to the district office.

Elementary and middle school students are already using the new badge scanning method, with high school students getting their badges this fall.

Previously, the district required bus drivers to use a pen and paper to note who was riding the bus each day. At the end of each week, they would submit their paperwork to the district office.

But the new roll out saves bus drivers time, while allowing staff members of the school district to access where students got on and got off the bus easily. 

“We will know who's on the bus and who's off, and where they got off. And those things are just game changers,” said Brown.

Brown adds that as a parent himself, he understands some parents might have questions. 

“I would say to ask all the questions that they need to ask about this to fully understand what it is and what it isn’t,” said Brown. “It's something that's exclusive to riding Vail School District buses, that's what it is, it is nothing more than that. There's no tracking outside of the bus.“

Badges will be provided to students free of charge. Replacement badges will cost $5.

Blake Phillips is a reporter for KGUN 9. Originally from St. Louis, Mo., Blake grew up in Sierra Vista. During his college tenure at the Missouri School of Journalism, Blake worked for the NBC affiliate KOMU-TV in Columbia. He is excited to return to a place he calls home and give back to the community in which he grew up. Share your story ideas and important issues with Blake by emailing