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Smart School Zone Beacons Help Keep Students Safe from Traffic as Schedules Change Due to COVID

 

IoT technology means safety beacons can reduce speeds in school zones with the tap of an app

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA  (September 3, 2020)  — As school districts across the nation make adjustments to the opening day of in-person classes due to COVID pandemic, making sure school zone safety beacons are slowing traffic on the right days and times is critical for keeping students and teachers safe from traffic.

Traffic engineers working with more than 5,000 schools across the U.S. can use their smartphone or tablet to monitor and control school beacons – those flashing signs that are intended to slow drivers down as they pass by a school. The technology, called The Glance™ Connected School Beacon System was developed by Applied Information the leading provider of intelligent transportation infrastructure solutions.

Each smart beacon has its own cellular modem to handle communication, enabling traffic engineers to change on and off times, determine if the beacons are operating correctly and, if necessary, instantly alert the appropriate resources in the event of a failure.

One of the early adopters of the technology is the Gwinnett County Department of Transportation in Northeast Georgia. Gwinnett County has two public school districts, including the largest in the state and several large private schools that operate on differing schedules – made more complicated by changes brought on by the COVID pandemic.

Ken Keena, Gwinnett DOT ATMS/TCC Section Manager says the department is equipped to respond to changing schedules of the more than 150 schools in the county.

“With the Glance system we can instantly respond and change the schedule of all 270 school zone beacons and configure them based on the needs of the individual districts or schools,” said Mr. Keena. “We now have two-way communications so we can check the status of the beacons and LEDs without driving to all of them.”

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