Development of a System to Report School Bus Stop-Arm Violations

Principal Investigator(s):

Brian Davis, Associate Dir., Mobility Tech. Lab, Mechanical Engineering


  • Nichole Morris, Director, Human Factors Safety Lab, Mechanical Engineering

Project summary:

School bus stop-arm violations represent a direct and serious risk to pupils boarding and exiting school buses. Currently, these events are typically captured to enable reactive law enforcement involvement. However, inconsistency in collection and aggregation can make it difficult to analyze this data to develop proactive safety, enforcement, and education efforts. This project will establish and evaluate a system for collecting counts and descriptions of school bus stop-arm violations to provide timely and actionable data that will increase pupil safety through improved safety practices and proactive enhancements to enforcement and education efforts.

The proposed system consists of three primary elements: an onboard hardware unit that allows drivers to simply press a button to log a violation, a web form for entering details of violations, and a dashboard for viewing timely system information. Both the collection and dashboard interfaces will be designed through an iterative, human-centered design process that seeks first to understand the needs of the system's users. This process will inform the development and implementation of a deployable prototype. The system will be deployed in a pilot study including school bus drivers, law enforcement, and other stakeholders in the state. The system will be selectively distributed to drivers in order to compare collection patterns between the web form and the onboard hardware. Additionally, a larger-scale survey will be utilized to further collect current baseline data against which the system?s numbers can be compared.

Project details: