SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, August 28, 2018 — Despite the implementation of school bus safety mandates to make sure that all of the children should unload from the school bus (newly legislated under the road traffic act on the 2nd Dec 2016), a fatal accident occurred in July 2018 due to a child left unattended in a school bus. In response, the Seoul city government has decided to introduce the “sleeping child check” system in 53 school buses of public elementary schools that the city government provides with the operational support. City of Seoul announced that it is to make sure that students and parents can feel safe to use the school bus.
The “sleeping child check” system utilizes the smartphone and NFS (Near Field Communication). The driver can confirm that all the kids get off the bus. If the driver tags the smartphone onto NFC devices (3 devices per vehicle) installed in the back seat in the last row, and inside and outside the vehicle, the parents and school managers can simultaneously get to know whether the kids safely get off the bus. If the driver doesn’t tag the smartphone to these devices, the system will send a warning alarm to the driver and attendant’s smartphones and the school manager’s PC every minute. It is to ensure a double and triple prevention of the accidents caused by children locked in a car.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government held a safety training of the guidance to prevent school bus accident, first aid and CPR for 106 school bus drivers and attendants of 53 public elementary schools on the 14(Tue) August. Seoul created a safety map and distributed it to 4 Hope Schools (16 schools in total since 2016) in 2018 out of the schools running the school bus. It aims to ensure a safe school zone for kids. The Seoul city government conducted a survey on students’ commuting to school and evaluated the school commuting condition and relevant facilities. Based on the site survey, Seoul made a safety map which indicates safe school zones and danger zones. The city government attached a large-sized safety map(2,300mm wide × 1,130mm long) to the main gates of schools. The safety map was also sent to student’s households via school newsletter or e-mail. Seoul holds “visiting class of safety experience” for 6 schools in 2018 (43 schools in total since 2016) out of the schools running the school bus. So far, the city government provided “visiting class of safety experience” for 1,886 people (3 hours) of 4 schools (the safety classes for the other 2 schools are scheduled to late August and November, respectively.)
The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to increase the number of schools running the school bus from 53 to 58 schools in 2019. To do so, the city government assigns the budget of 4 billion 90 million won for this project. In terms of the scale, the support for school bus of public elementary schools in 2019 is increased 8.6% from 53 schools in 2018, and 34.5% up from 33 schools in 2015. (※ 33 schools in 2015, 40 schools in 2016, 48 schools in 2017, and 53 schools in 2018)