California school pilots iris reader on buses
24 September 2015 13:07 GMT

The Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency is considering the use of biometric iris scanners on special needs buses following the tragic death of a pupil.

In the pilot programme, students will biometrically (Iris) scan identity as they board and exit the school bus. An IRITRANS system will notify the driver visibly and audibly if the child is about to get on or off at the wrong bus stop.

When the bus reaches the end of its daily route, the driver simply ends the route on the IRITRANS mobile device and if all students have not exited the bus, the device will notify the driver both visually and audibly to recheck the bus.

Earlier this month, an autistic student was left on a contracted school bus in a district parking lot for hours, until he was found unresponsive laying in the aisle.

"Lost or sleeping kids. It happens every year in most school districts nationally only we rarely hear about it. Kids left sleeping on a bus is at epidemic proportions nationally," says John DeVries, president of IRITRAK Corporation, developer of IRITRANS.

The IRITRANS iris biometric process is completely non-intrusive and has absolutely no identity security risks in the complete processes, he added.

The iris image data is not stored, DeVries says. The data is converted into a series of numbers that makes it impossible to be used for re-creating someone's identity.

Morris Fuselier III, AVSTA, CEO states that student safety and security is their #1 priority and continuously looks to be a leader in school transportation safety.  The agency is specifically focused on its special needs bus fleet compared to the general student fleet since it is the most difficult to address in the form of its required application. It requires hardware mobility from all points of the bus for loading or unloading.  

Fuselier also states that there are many other potential emergencies that can happen during student transportation which the IRITRANS system eliminates. First and foremost, the implementation process requires a series of scheduled parent meetings in the event parents have concerns about the biometric process. Parents have the ability to opt-out if for some reason they want to decline this additional safety and security for their children.