New technology promises to keep your kids safe, drivers accountable


LEE COUNTY, Fla. – The Lee County school district just installed new radios with GPS units in all 834 of its buses.

The Motorola units were approved by the board during the 2013-2014 school year, but Monday will be the first day the district uses them. The previous radios used analog to communicate, but drivers struggled with dead spots and could not communicate with the bus depot. The new radios use cell service and therefore allow the driver and the bus to communicate with the depot.

In an exclusive WINK News Call for Action investigation in May, our investigators uncovered a driver, who would sit along Michigan Avenue instead of returning to the depot. Robert Morgan, the executive director of transportation, thanked WINK News for bringing the driver to the district’s attention and said the driver would be investigated.

Morgan said these new units will hold drivers, like the one Call for Action caught in May, more accountable.

“We’ll be able to have 100-percent efficiency of where all our buses are at all times,” said Morgan. “These drivers are out there to make money for their families and if you allow people to have the opportunity, sometimes they’ll disappoint you and I think we had quite a bit of that. But the capability this will give us, our dispatchers, our routers, will all have the capability of identifying where a bus should be, so it’s where it’s supposed to be when it is.”

Morgan believes the new units will save the district money in the long run and will improve safety. In parts of Lee County there are dead spots and the bus drivers could not communicate with the depot if they broke down. He said the old analog radios did not work outside of Lee County, but now if a bus goes to a different county for a field trip or extracurricular activity it will be able to communicate with depot.

The radios with the GPS have been installed in the bus, but they are not functional just yet. Morgan said he plans on having the radios online by next Monday, which is the first day of school for Lee County.

If you would like to check your child’s estimated bus pickup time and drop off, click here.

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