Piloting smart safe school bus: exploration of security gains from implementation of a driver support system, additional technical equipment and intelligent bus stops

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Björn Börsbo
Torbjörn Falkmer

Purpose: Road crash statistics reveal that school children are frequent victims and the most risky situation is when the child is outside the bus. The aim of this pilot study was to explore possible changes in speed, implementation of routines, hazard detection and child security gains from a driver support system integrated with intelligent bus stops and additional technical equipment.

Methods: In total, 130 children with transmitters were using two specially equipped busses and bus stops. Speed of oncoming and overtaking cars, implementation of routines, the possibilities to discover potential hazards and experienced stress in the children were analysed by speed measurements, diary notes, questionnaires and focus group interviews.

Results: This pilot study exploration showed that the speeds of other road users were reduced at one of two bus stops. The driver support system was frequently used in all its parts and was considered useful by the bus drivers. It also raised the level of routines and allowed the drivers to survey the children. Children reported feeling more secure with the system running and experienced less stress as a consequence of it.

Conclusion: This pilot study shows that the evaluated systems may have the ability to reduce speed of other road users, raise the level of routines and make children feel more secure. Further studies are needed that apply a holistic approach on school transportation safety and security.

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