Stop-Arm Patent Awarded

January 31, 2014
Child safety took a giant step forward with the award of a patent for a school bus traffic arm camera system in January, 2014.

Zen-tinel, a mobile surveillance company based in Indiana, Pa., first rolled out their stop-arm camera system in 2010. U.S. patent 8,599,260 recognizes Zen-tinel as the first company to offer a portable device for capturing images of vehicles illegally passing a stopped school bus.

“Our first concern is always student safety,” said Larry Vaughn, president. “The system we have developed allows school districts to increase safety without the big price tag of putting cameras on every bus.”

Stop-arm violations have moved to the forefront of student transportation concerns as annual national surveys conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services reveal the steady number of stop-arm violations – and resulting fatalities – every year.

“The portability factor increases the rate of coverage for your bus fleet,” said Vaughn. “You have the innate ability to rotate systems between high violation routes. The cost savings recognized by the school districts have been very favorably received.”

Zen-tinel’s stop-arm camera offers a way to prosecute drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses and to create more public awareness of this dangerous community concern.

Partnership to provide accident recorders to school bus contractors

NDIANA, Pa. — Mobile surveillance systems supplier Zen-tinel has teamed up with Safety, Claims and Litigation Services (SCLS) to provide accident event recorder (AER) technology to school bus contractors.

SCLS is an affiliate of National Interstate Insurance Co. As a preferred vendor partner, Zen-tinel is offering camera systems that officials say are ”proven to enhance driver performance, reduce accidents and save lives.”

Zen-tinel's Continuous Event Camera system is equipped with three cameras designed to monitor specific areas of the bus. One camera records views from the vehicle's front window. A second camera captures the driver and the stairs of the bus. A third unit records the children in their seats.

In the case of an accident, the AER video footage provides evidence to help understand the causes of the event and exonerate drivers when they are not at fault, according to the company.

Zen-tinel's G-force software also maintains a database of unsafe behaviors, such as hard braking, unnecessary idling and rapid acceleration.

"SCLS and National Interstate, like Zen-tinel, are committed to the safety of every child, and we are proud to partner with a leading provider of passenger transportation insurance,” Zen-tinel President Larry Vaughn said.

“AERs can only help lower bus accidents and fatalities among school children while keeping safety affordable for the districts."

Jim Parks, vice president of National Interstate, said that the company is “pleased to assist our clients by offering AER technology through SCLS' customer loyalty program.

"Our goal is to provide a mechanism to help school bus contractors control their insurance costs while making transportation safer for drivers, children and the general public.”

Read the original story by

REDTAIL Telematics and Zen-tinel Partner at 2012 NAPT Summit

REDTAIL Telematics Corporation, an established global manufacturer of state-of-the-art GPS tracking products for fleets, and Indiana, PA-based Zen-tinel, a leader in mobile surveillance and management systems for school buses, taxis and other fleet vehicles, announced their partnership at the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Summit in Memphis.

According to Larry Vaughn, President of Zen-tinel, “Because of the extensive synergies between our two companies, Zen-tinel and REDTAIL are in a great position to work together and take market share in the growing school bus and fleet transportation industry.

"We are anxious to work with both REDTAIL and their sister company Plextek to take advantage of all their engineering, design and product development expertise.”

Anna Amoresano, Vice President Sales & Marketing, said, “Our partner Zen-tinel is taking the bus industry by storm with their state-of-the-art surveillance solutions, and adding REDTAIL’s unique GPS tracking capabilities to their camera technologies was extremely well-received at the Summit.

"We look forward to the next milestones in our partnership.”

Read more about REDTAIL.

Three violations captured in first week of install

June 20, 2012
Newly installed stop-arm cameras have caught three drivers passing stopped school buses in the first week in the Altoona Area School District.

“Mounting of the plate that holds the camera is quick,” said Dana Vinglish, general manager of Altoona Student Transportation Inc., “and allows the camera to be passed on to other buses and the whole system and plates are school bus yellow so they blend perfectly with the bus.”

Pennsylvania law requires all vehicles to stop while a school bus is stopped with red lights flashing and a stop arm extended, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicles.

Zen-tinel stop-arm cameras installed on the outside of buses automatically record while the stop-arm is extended without having to rely on driver activation.

“It was an awesome experience for the police officer questioning the gentleman who ran the red,” said Vinglish. “He continuously denied the incident until the officer explained that he was looking at a photograph of his vehicle passing the bus.”

With stop-arm cameras installed and the help of law enforcement, the danger of illegal school bus passing can be reduced.

“Safety should be the top concern of bus operators,” said Larry Vaughn, Zen-tinel president. “Catching motorists who pass stopped school buses is the best way to ensure that safety.”