Founder of Public Transportation Safety International Corporation (PTS) Mark Barron is introducing an affordable new solution to eliminate the danger zone gap surrounding the rear dual wheels of the school bus: The Minimize Danger Zone Shield (MDZ SHIELD).
For the past decade, PTS and manufacturer Pacific Metal Fab (PMF) have been trying to design and perfect an affordable solution for the estimated 2 foot gap surrounding the right dual wheels of the school bus. Approximately 10 years ago, PTS and PMF partnered with Majestic Transportation Products Ltd. to create a safety guard, which unfortunately stalled due to the costly mounting brackets underneath the bus chassis.
A revised side mount was displayed seven years later in Reno, Nev., at the STN EXPO, but the reworked mount did not cover the tire — a key point that PTS later noticed on fatality reports. Children would reportedly first come into contact with the school bus tire, to then tragically become propelled under the dual wheels. PTS and PMF were determined to eliminate school bus tire exposure and contact with one safety device, and further eliminate any related instances of children being run over.
Major modifications of the shield were then made, resulting in the new MDZ SHIELD that covers the right wheel well opening and cantilevers under the rocker panel in front of the rear wheels (similar to an automotive spoiler). The MDZ SHIELD is an inexpensive, one piece BASF polyurethane guard that acts as a safeguard in front of the dual rear wheels. It is easily and quickly mounted to the side panel of the bus, lessening both material and labor costs, while making it easily visible for operator’s inspection.
To date, PTS and PMF have scheduled upcoming meetings with top OEMs to address this critical safety issue. The safety shield is not a traditional after-market part needing specifications, rather a body modification which can save lives (similar to the Thomas Built Buses FS-65 for improved child visibility). PTS and PMF understand that school bus OEMs are not interested in adding cost to new bus orders due to low bid and therefore have offered to pay all tooling and hard costs for the OEM’s competitive edge; however, design input from an OEM is encouraged prior to producing the tooling. Our goal is to make the MDZ SHIELD a standard body design for all new, future buses before 2012.
PTS and PMF would like to thank the OEMs in advance for their interest and cooperation in this serious, safety matter. Our mission at PTS is to serve as a catalyst for innovative positive safety changes. PTS was founded in 1993 and has been successfully selling the S-1 GARD Dangerzone Deflector, a physical safety barrier covering the right rear tires, to the mass transit industry. For new bus orders or to request additional media material, please contact Krista Barry, operations director, by phone at (213) 489-1443, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.