Can I Track My School Bus?
Many questions have been raised recently about the use of GPS tracking systems on public vehicles. Today, it is now common for police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances, and all city vehicles to be equipped with some form of vehicle tracker. Citizens, whose tax dollars fund city equipment and the service fees associated with many GPS trackers, typically do not expect or feel they should be allowed access to police vehicles or other city vehicles’ GPS tracking data because of security issues. However, what many parents and other citizens are asking for is access to the data stored on the GPS tracking devices that transport children and teens to school every day. The issue has sparked a controversy over the use of fleet tracking GPS devices and school privacy. So should parents be able to track the school buses carrying their kids?
School Bus GPS Trackers
In an effort to modernize school buses and improve employee productivity, many school districts have begun using GPS tracking systems. The vehicle tracking devices allow school district officials to make certain every stop on a route was made, and no driver is engaging in unsafe driving habits. “GPS tracking systems empower security efforts by allowing the school to comfortably and conveniently view every school bus in the field, which results in keeping the children more safe,” claimed an unnamed person speaking on behalf of a local southern California school district.
School Bus Student Tracking
Parents have various reasons why they would want to have access to the tracking system that is monitoring the buses carrying their child or children to and from school. First of all, if a parent can access the vehicle’s GPS information they would be able to know the definitive point when and where their child was picked up and dropped off by the bus driver. The vehicle tracking system information would give parents the peace of knowing that their child was picked up and dropped off safely.
The vehicle trackers would also let parents monitor the school bus driver’s driving habits, the same way school officials supposedly do.
Vehicle Tracking Controversy
School officials who are utilizing vehicle tracking systems in school buses have been reluctant, at best, about even considering letting parents have access to the recorded GPS tracking data. Although no school district representative has given a statement on the record about the issue, the general thought is that they feel giving all parents access to the fleet tracking devices could cause a security risk.
Would it be a security risk if parents were able to view all the routes a school bus traveled via a vehicle tracker, or should parents have the right to know when and where their children were picked up?
Many school districts have used live GPS devices to regenerate and update school buses, but many school buses still do not have seat belts. Is investing in GPS trackers the best way to provide children additional security, or are the tracking systems simply another avenue for school officials to spy on staff?
Should outside organizations on parental rights get involved in the GPS tracking debate?
Should parents worried about teenagers’ safe driving look into teen GPS trackers?
Matthew is a freelance writer who is passionate about technology, music, photography, and decentralized finance.