The bill creates the smart school bus safety pilot program (pilot program) in the department of public safety (department) to increase the safety of students and the security of school buses. The department is required to enter into an agreement with an organization to administer the pilot program (program administrator). The program administrator must notify school districts of the program; develop and maintain a website, online service, online application, or mobile application, or a combination thereof, to provide secure parental notification, at no cost to parents, relating to school bus and student status; recruit school bus drivers; inform and educate the public about school bus transportation safety; and develop funding sources for school transportation safety.
The department awards 3-year grants to school districts for the provision of hardware and software that will allow the bus to communicate directly with first responders by voice communication and by using a silent duress alarm; the maintenance of that equipment; training; and providing secure parental notification, at no cost to parents, relating to school bus and student status. The program administrator must provide support for grant recipients.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)