DURHAM ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO FURTHER ENHANCE SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
Multi-Million Dollar Initiatives Bolster Company’s Existing Systems
WARRENVILLE, IL – Durham School Services, a leading provider in student transportation, will invest millions of dollars to fund three initiatives intended to increase safety for drivers and students on its 16,000-bus fleet.
“Given the recent tragic accident involving one of our buses and drivers in Chattanooga, Tennessee, we are taking further steps to ensure the safety of the one million students we deliver to school and back home every day,” said Durham President and Chief Executive Officer David A. Duke. “That’s why we are investing in additional technology and staffing that is aimed at helping us identify and correct potential problems with our buses or drivers before they escalate into actual problems.”
The company outlined a three-pronged initiative it plans to implement nationally over the next three years. He said Durham will:
• Install a secure nationwide cloud-based complaint management system that will directly connect Durham with the more than 200 schools it serves. Through this system, teachers and administrators will be able to quickly and directly report issues or concerns they have with individual buses or drivers, enabling Durham to more quickly take corrective action. The system bolsters existing platforms, and is expected to be in place at all Durham-serviced schools by the end of 2017. It will be installed in Chattanooga this month.
• Equip its entire fleet of buses with DriveCam “smart cameras” that will activate and record both the driver and the road each time they sense unusual driving. This will give Durham a record of what happened so it can be promptly addressed with the driver. Durham has already equipped about 1,000 buses with these cameras, and intends to have the entire fleet equipped in the next two years. Chattanooga buses will be equipped during the 2016 holiday recess.
• Appoint a Chief Safety Data and Compliance Officer by the end of the first quarter of next year. With more data available to Durham than ever, the company will have a dedicated leader and team who will work with the company’s Senior Vice President of Safety to continuously review all that data to identify potential issues and take corrective action. The position reports to Duke.
“All these initiatives are designed to deepen and extend Durham School Services’ leadership in school transportation,” Duke said. “As technology advances and access to data increase, it’s our responsibility to capitalize so we can make riding on our buses even safer than it is today.”
While each of these initiatives was being planned before the Nov. 21 tragedy in Chattanooga, Duke said that accident led Durham to accelerate their adoption.
“We are heartbroken by the tragedy in Tennessee,” he said. “Now we are determined to learn from what happened and prevent it from happening again.”