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Liberty Hill ISD using new technology to help keep students safer on buses

The Liberty Hill Independent School District started the new year off with some new technology on buses to help drivers and parents keep track of their kids.

LIBERTY HILL, Texas — As school gets going again this week and next, one local school district is trying some new technology to keep better track of its students. 

It's always been important for bus drivers to know what students are doing on the buses at all times, but now in Liberty Hill, they have technology so they can know which students are on their bus at any time.

"It just helps us as a safety net make sure everyone's on the right bus," Liberty Hill ISD Superintendent Steven Snell said.

LHISD put the Smart Tag system in every bus so that even if a driver's bus breaks down, their backup bus still has the new technology. Only the tablet needs to travel between buses.

Credit: Hank Cavagnaro

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"You know, it helps us. We also do our manual checks also," Snell said. "We don't just depend on the technology, so the bus driver still checks the bus [to] make sure every rider got off safely. They still take all of the care that they would if the technology didn't exist."

The system guides drivers through a pre-drive checklist then, as kids get on, they swipe their tag, which shows the driver exactly who's on the bus and which stop they need to get off at.

Credit: Hank Cavagnaro

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"Every single day, we want our students to arrive safely to school and we want to deliver them back home safely," Snell said.

While the tech does help the driver, it can also send alerts to parents who are waiting for their kids and let them know when their child has gotten on and off the bus.

"Where your child got on the bus and what time. Where they got off, at what time. And it helps our drivers no matter who's driving the bus that day," Snell said. "It helps them know, 'Hey, this child is supposed to get off at this stop, not a different stop.'"


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