New technology assists Volusia school bus drivers

School starts next week for Volusia County Public Schools, and some school bus drivers just received tablets to make sure your kids are where they're supposed to be.

The game-changing new technology is driving safety forward. Walking on the bus, students will type their ID on a pad and then, "it would tell me what bus, bus number and route number."

It's been seven years since the students started entering their IDs once they got on or off the bus, but now all that information transfers to the tablet.

"Has their address, has phone numbers, emergency contact information, anything I might need while the bus is stopped," said bus driver Bill Hinkle.

It's the kind of 21st century bus driving Hinkle says should prevent him from dropping students off at the wrong stop or leaving kids on the bus.

"Now I know where they're supposed to be, even if they're on the wrong bus, I have the potential to know more about them not supposed to be on my bus.," he said.

"It's going to let us know what students are on that school bus per route, per stop and what school they go to," said Volusia County Schools Chief Operating Officer Greg Akin.

Also equipped with GPS, the district's 275 tablets cost $190,000, paid for by the half-cent sales tax. Volusia is the first district in the state to use these bus-riding tablets not only making students safer, but almost more familiar with their bus drivers.

"The last two years I've driven, I had to learn all their names by asking," said Hinkle, adding, "I will see their name and I can look up at them and then be able to greet them initially right off the bat first day of school."