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West Virginia District Enhances Safety Bus Training Tool

Kanawha County Schools in Charleston, West Virginia, recently equipped its Safety Bus with several technological improvements to increase child safety and training opportunities.

The Safety Bus is intended to educate students, drivers, student drivers and the public, and to promote safety in the community.

Kanawha Executive Director of Transportation Brette Fraley told School Transportation News that there will only be one Safety Bus and it is “in service for training of students, drivers, student drivers and the public. The bus is fully functional.”

The Safety Bus now uses a total of nine camera systems from Angeltrax and allows trainers to create videos that demonstrate real-life training scenarios. It includes a DVD player and monitor onboard to play training videos and is equipped with Wi-Fi should trainers need access to online training resources or videos, for example via YouTube.

In addition, an external camera is mounted on the driver’s rearview mirror pointed toward traffic to allow trainers to see exactly what the driver sees. The camera’s footage is then displayed on seven display screens with audio playing through the bus speaker system.

An extended stop arm reaches across a lane of traffic is also installed on the bus to demonstrates as a possible way to reduce illegal passing incidents.

The Safety Bus also demonstrates the Fogmaker fire suppression system for the engine compartment, which led to several of the district’s special needs buses recently being equipped with the technology. The Safety Bus also uses two AC/DC outlets for the smoke marker, positioned at the front and rear of the bus.

The last precautionary measure on the Safety Bus is the use of the Student Detection System (SDS), a sensor system that detects when a person is in the danger zone and sends a red signal along with a beeping sound to inform the driver of their presence. Aside from the indicators, SDS uses an external camera that provides drivers with a live view of blind spots around the vehicle.

Fraley said several other school districts have already borrowed the Safety Bus for training, adding that new technology will be installed as it is made available.

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