The following story is another example of how our typical response to tragedy as Americans is to overreact and turn to complicated, unnecessary solutions to simple problems.
There was recently a tragic death in California of an autistic student who was found dead on a school bus after being left alone when a substitute driver failed to notice him sleeping on one of the seats. In response, the Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency (AVSTA) has decided to implement an iris scanning program on special needs buses. So why do I think this is worth highlighting?
First of all, how difficult is it for a bus driver to take ten seconds and walk up and down the bus after he or she is done making all the stops? Why do we always want to take personal responsibility out of everything. Should we really assume a bus driver who is too lazy to check the bus for stragglers can properly operate an iris scanner anyway?
Second, I find it noteworthy, to say the least, how rapidly AVSTA was able to launch this pilot program following the tragedy. It’s as if it was just waiting for the right opportunity to get this thing going and begin to conditioning the public. Certainly something to think about.
From KCEN News:
SOURCE Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency
LANCASTER, Calif., Sept. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — It has been one week since the terrible student death incident at a local California school district. There is now leading edge technology to prevent this and other kinds of incidents in school transportation. Antelope Valley Schools Transportation Agency, JPA is conducting a pilot program in the implementation a newly developed safety and security solution on their special needs buses. Students will biometrically (Iris) scan identity as they board and exit the school bus. The 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.
Or you could just check the bus in the first place. It takes all of ten seconds.
Of course, this is an emerging trend. See the following post from last month: