Q: What is the Paul Lee Law?
A: In 2016, the California state legislature passed the Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law (SB 1072) in response to the school bus death of a 19-year-old, non-verbal student with autism on Sept. 11, 2015. Original legislation simply required school buses to be equipped with a “child safety alert system,” which is a device located at the interior rear of a vehicle that requires the driver to either manually contact or scan the device before exiting the vehicle, thereby prompting the driver to inspect the entirety of the interior of the vehicle before exiting. Zonar’s position was that its Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR®) system would satisfy compliance with this law. In 2017, the California Highway Patrol refined the ruling to require lights and an audible alarm. In response, Zonar began discussions to partner as a reseller with Child Check-Mate™ (CCM).
Q: What is the timeline for implementing the Paul Lee Law?
A: The compliance date was by the start of the 2018-2019 school year. In February 2018, placeholder legislation (SB 1269) was introduced to amend the compliance deadline. School buses used to transport special needs students must comply with the law as of the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, while all other buses must comply six (6) months after the 2018-19 school year begins.
Q: What is required for compliance with the Paul Lee Law?
A: The Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law (SB-1072) requires a shut-off location at the rear of each school bus where the school bus driver must deactivate an audible and/or visible alarm following a sweep of the bus. The system does not arm itself for the first three minutes of vehicle movement, or once the vehicle reaches a speed of 10 mph, whichever comes first. The alarm consists of an audible tone, a flashing light visible from 50 feet away or both that can be connected to the school bus flashing red light signal system but cannot sound the alarm during normal loading and unloading of students.
Q: Why do I need Zonar's EVIR system and the Child Check-Mate solution?
A: If the bus is not safe to drive, the children it is intended to protect are also not safe. Written inspection reports make it difficult to ensure that safety checks are correctly performed and completed at the required intervals. With the EVIR® system, the inspection process is digitized, ensuring that inspections are done at required intervals with the ability to set flags for prioritizing potential critical safety issues. All EVIR inspection reports are available in Ground Traffic Control, giving the maintenance shop insight into what the condition of the vehicles are before they reach the shop.
Q: I thought that Zonar's EVIR system provided compliance for the Paul Lee Law. What has changed?
A: When the Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law (SB-1072) was signed into law on September 29, 2016, Zonar’s EVIR® solution was compliant. The California legislature has since adjusted these requirements, and as of January 1, 2018, SB-1072 now requires additional safety features such as a flashing light and audible alert system. Zonar is always committed to helping our customers meet changing compliance obligations and we’ve negotiated special pricing with Child Check-Mate™ systems for new and existing customers.
Q: How does the Zonar/Child Check-Mate Safety Alert System work?
A: A button is installed at the rear of the bus that must be pushed before the required safety checks can be completed. If the button is not pushed, the dome lights and the bus horn will sound until they are deactivated.
Q: How does Zonar improve the Child Check-Mate solution?
A: Child Check-Mate (CCM) products provide visual and audible alerts. But when safety checks fail, the CCM products also trigger ZAlerts that provide real-time information identifying the vehicle that failed the check, its location, and the safety check failure time. This information is important for incidents where an alarm sounds in a large bus yard, potentially making it difficult to identify the appropriate bus. Also, when buses are parked at a different location than the bus garage, without a ZAlert potentially no one would ever know that the child safety check system was activated. Every ZAlert is recorded in Ground Traffic Control and it can be used by fleet managers to determine how often incidents occur and which drivers operate those buses to enhance training and provide better and consistent child checks.
Q: How are ZAlerts configured with Child Check-Mate?
A: This is a standard I/O ZAlert. Output from the Child Check-Mate (CCM) is wired to a Zonar input and CCM puts voltage on the line when the alarm is triggered which in turn triggers a ZAlert. These are standard out-of-the-box features for both devices.