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Safety Series #4: Industry-leading safety standards

HopSkipDrive industry-leading safety standardsOur industry-leading safety standards are known for being some of the most rigorous in the student transportation space. With our health-forward technology and processes, we go above and beyond to ensure that we are not just meeting but exceeding industry regulations.

Schools, school districts, organizations and caregivers routinely rely on us to help them safely get students, children and family members where they need to go. It’s a responsibility we take to heart, which is why the safety and well-being of every Rider, every CareDriver — every person who uses the HopSkipDrive platform — will always be our top priority.

Read on for a brief overview of just some of the many things we do to take things to the next level when it comes to safety.

Transportation Network Company (TNC) regulations

HopSkipDrive operates as a TNC, which means our business is regulated by state agencies that require us to meet strict TNC regulations. HopSkipDrive differs from other TNCs, though, as our platform is specifically designed with the needs of vulnerable populations — such as children ages 6 and up, students experiencing homelessness and senior citizens — in mind. And that’s why we hold ourselves to even higher standards.

HopSkipDrive exceeds TNC regulationsWith our safety-focused technology, features and processes, we consistently exceed many TNC requirements.

We exceed TNC minimum insurance requirements in every state in which we operate.

We exceed TNC criminal background check requirements with fingerprint-based criminal history searches against FBI databases and child abuse and neglect screening.

We exceed TNC motor vehicle history background check requirements by monitoring driving records and receiving alerts about any new driver infractions.

We exceed TNC criminal and driving history disqualification standards by also including state Department of Education standards for individuals who work with children. 

We exceed TNC minimum driving age requirements: HopSkipDrive CareDrivers must be at least 23 years old to qualify for access to the platform.

We exceed TNC driver, vehicle, trip and fare information requirements by utilizing multi-factor authentication at pickup and enabling all users on a HopSkipDrive account to track ride progress in real-time.

We have also actively advocated to make Child Abuse and Neglect Screening (CANS) — which is included in our in-depth, 15-point CareDriver certification process — a regular part of youth transportation regulations.

HopSkipDrive Safety Report

HopSkipDrive Safety ReportIn addition to championing safety as a company value and a top-level priority, we believe in the importance of transparency — especially when it comes to our safety record. We created the HopSkipDrive Safety Report to provide visibility into our performance metrics for those who use our platform. We also publish our safety record to hold ourselves accountable and establish safety benchmarks for the industry.

Some notable ways we go above and beyond for safety as reported in our 2020 Safety Report include: 

Vehicle safety: State regulations vary in terms of the maximum age allowed for a vehicle being used to perform services, but HopSkipDrive has set the maximum age to less than 10 years. HopSkipDrive also monitors information regarding vehicle recalls, and alerts CareDrivers anytime there is a match with a vehicle type being used to perform rides.

Online resources: CareDrivers have access to a number of safety resources that cover topics such as trauma-informed care, maintaining appropriate boundaries, sensitivity to individuals with special needs and safe driving tips.

Community Guidelines: These policies prevent the use of recording devices, unwanted communication between CareDrivers and Riders beyond the ride, eating and drinking during rides, and the importance of maintaining age-appropriate communication for all Users. We also enforce a no-weapons and no-smoking policy for all HopSkipDrive rides.

Data privacy: Because the majority of HopSkipDrive Riders are children under the age of 18, we’ve made data privacy a top priority. We safeguard personal information by utilizing a number of technical, administrative and physical security controls.  

Real-time ride tracking and other safety technology

HopSkipDrive real-time ride trackingHopSkipDrive’s proprietary technology provides unparalleled end-to-end visibility into rides. Continually developed and optimized, our safety-driven technology operates in tandem with other safety processes to provide real-time response and unrivaled service to all users of the HopSkipDrive platform.

The progress of each HopSkipDrive ride can be tracked in real-time using the HopSkipDrive app. Caregivers and parents also receive text messages alerting them to the progress of a ride, and our Safe Ride Support team is always standing by to help with any issues that may arise.

HopSkipDrive safe driving monitoringHopSkipDrive works with an industry-leading third-party software provider to detect unsafe driving behaviors. Comparative analyses have shown that HopSkipDrive CareDrivers display significantly less risky driving behaviors year over year. In fact, CareDrivers use their phones while driving almost eight times less frequently than the average U.S. driver.

With automated incident prediction, HopSkipDrive is able to identify issues before they arise. The Safe Ride Support team is alerted instantly with real-time collision detection, and the Safe Ride Support System provides automated messaging to CareDrivers, parents and emergency contacts throughout the trip.

COVID Safe-Ride Standards

HopSkipDrive COVID-Safe Ride StandardsAt the onset of the pandemic, we wasted no time in evolving our procedures to promote the health and well-being of Riders, CareDrivers and Ride Organizers.

Using CDC guidelines, local regulations and the advice of health experts — including HopSkipDrive Safety Advisory Board member Dr. Nana B. Afoh-Manin, MD, MPH, EMP and Founder of myCovidMD®  — we quickly created and implemented our COVID-Safe Ride Standards.

Leading by example, we were one of the first U.S. transportation network companies to implement some of these industry-leading safety procedures. In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, we decided to share these standards publicly as a way to establish leading COVID safety measures for the youth transportation industry as a whole. 

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