On September 11, 2015, Hun Joon “Paul” Lee, a special-needs student from Whittier, CA, fell asleep in his school bus while riding home on the day of a scorching heat wave. He was left inside the bus even after it had returned and been locked up in its yard, and the bus driver left without fully checking to see whether Paul was still inside. Paul tragically died from the heat.
A bill inspired by Paul's death was introduced in the California Senate Senator Tony Mendoza, becoming SB 1072 and initially referred to as the ‘Mendoza Law’ before being renamed the ‘Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law’. Governor Jerry Brown signed the Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law on September 27, 2016.
The Paul Lee Law adds new requirements for student transportation in public and charter schools, including that all school buses be equipped with a “Child Safety Alert System”:
“a device located at the interior rear of a vehicle that requires the driver to either manually contact or scan the device before exiting the vehicle, thereby prompting the driver to inspect the entirety of the interior of the vehicle before exiting.”
The approved child safety alert system and inspection procedures must be in place on or before the start of the 2018-2019 school year, and California Highway Patrol is due to issue technical requirements before January 1, 2017.
Treker’s Driver App includes pre and post-trip inspection and authentication features that meet the requirements of the Paul Lee Law, and we hope to support or exceed the requirements for school bus ridership safety wherever we’re able.
Driver performs a pre-configured inspection at scripted Treker Tag points, logging maintenance or event data that is securely sent and stored for authorized users.
Upon reaching the last destination, driver must confirm that the bus is empty by scanning a Treker Beacon, NFC or QR code at the rear interior of the bus. This scan can update the bus status for all Treker Admin Portal users and reporting, and/or trigger configurable success or exception alerts.
Treker Driver App continuously scans for any Treker Beacons that may still be inside the bus. If the Driver App detects any Treker Beacons’ signal, it displays and sounds alerts that there are students remaining on the bus.
Treker Beacons give accurate readings of how many riders boarded and got off the bus at their respective scheduled stops.
The Driver App sounds a chime as each student is checked on or off the bus, so both the student and the Driver know they've been recognized.
At the end of any trip, if the Driver App indicates there are students who have not checked out, a Driver App displays and sounds an alert that there are remaining students.
The driver is required to re-authenticate on the Treker Tablet with their username and password to confirm that they have verified the bus is empty.
Once completed, this information is time recorded in the Treker system and can be used in reporting or for future activity audits.
For the benefit of students, parents, school administrators, drivers and transporters.
Senator Tony Mendoza
Member of the California State Senate from the 32nd district; former teacher; father of four.
Making school transportation safer