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Students use 'Bus tracker' technology to stay safe

Students use 'Bus tracker' technology to stay safe

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Students in Chicago now can use bus tracking technology in a bid to stay safe.

It is a worry of both children and parents alike when students attend schools in areas considered dangerous -- will anything happen to them whilst they are waiting for their bus ride?

For children studying in Chicago, a new initiative to keep thousands of students safe, it means staying in school a little longer in exchange for peace of mind.

According to Chicago's CBS local, the Child Protective Services (CPS) have installed bus trackers in 35 schools. 50-inch monitors, the devices can be used by students to track their bus location, and head outside in time to catch a ride -- rather than stand for a long duration. The schools that were chosen have some of the highest incident rates of crimes including fights, robberies and assault.

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) have installed the tracker screens -- similar to those you find in airports -- so children do not have to stand around outside and potentially end up in trouble.

The reasoning is thus; if children are able to track the progress of their ride home and do not worry about potentially being assaulted, then school should be a safer and less stressful experience. Jadine Chou, security chief for Chicago Public Schools, says:

"They carry that stress with them into the classroom and it impacts their academic achievement, so what this does is this hopefully mitigate the amount of stress."

CPS officials plan to roll out the monitors in all high schools that either have large numbers of enrolled students or safety concerns. To install 35 of the devices, it cost approximately $250,000 ($7150 per machine). Most of the funding came from grants and donations.

(via CBS)

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Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure