The safety of the children traveling on a school bus is paramount above all else, and the tireless work by government agencies and private companies involved in the transportation of school children should be applauded.
A recent report by MISD aims to increase bus safety in the United States by extending the onboard stop arms from the current two feet to six and a half feet. The idea is that the new, longer stop arms will make it more difficult to drive past when students are getting on or off the bus.
New From McKinney, Texas
It is a common fear amongst school bus drivers that other road users do not stop when students are getting on and off their bus. There are many reasons that this can happen, perhaps they are not aware, or simply cannot be patient enough to wait. But the growing trend for motorists to zip past stationary school buses is increasing even though there are bright red lights that are blatantly warning them to stop.
Research has shown that in McKinney, Texas this is happening at least twenty times a day, and if you multiply this out by the end of a school year there could be 3,500 incidents of such action.
The New Measures by ISD and Durham
Incredible as it sounds, motorists are flaunting the law and putting children’s lives at risk. So ISD and Durham are taking drastic new measures to curtail this dangerous driving. A scheme is being put in place to trial longer stop arms on buses on certain routes.
It is an idea that is proving to be most popular in certain rural areas, and McKinney ISD is thought to be the first school district in Texas to try this new safety measure out.
Bus Safety Solutions
The company responsible for fitting the new Stop arms are Bus Safety Solutions. The cost for each bus is around one thousand dollars and they will be fitted on ten buses that use Highway 5 AND 380 where the most incidents have been recorded. If the trial is effective then additional buses will be fitted with the extended arms.
A bus driver who frequently transports students on Highway 380 commented, It’s scary on 380, these drivers….some of them will stop. Some don’t stop. The driver continued with an account of how many times motorists had undertaken her bus on the inside.
It is hoped that the initial trials will prove successful and the new stop arms can be extended to other areas at risk. It is amazing that so many motorists are prepared to put children at risk in such a reckless manner, but if this new device saves lives then it is something that should be extended nationwide.