by Stephen Dafoe
Education Week kicked off Monday by showing appreciation for the Division’s school bus drivers with a new initiative to help bus drivers keep their passengers safe.
Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools is the first school division in the province to adopt Safe Fleet’s Predictive Stop Arm technology on their busses.
Rather than relying on visual cues for oncoming vehicles, the Predictive Stop Arm is a warning system that alerts pedestrians and vehicles with a visual and audible alert.
“Our care for students begins when they get on their bus for their commute to school,” said Superintendent Dr. Clint Moroziuk. “We are proud to work with Safe Fleet to implement a proactive approach to increasing school bus safety. With this innovative technology, children. families and our bus drivers will experience an enhanced level of safety.”
The Predictive Stop Arm measures the speed and distance of an oncoming vehicle and sends out an audible notification three seconds before a passing violation occurs from speakers mounted under the hood of the bus.
The system operates in three modes: inactive when the bus is driving, monitoring when the stop arm is extended, but students are neither entering or leaving the bus and predictive mode when the system is fully activated. At that point, if a car is coming too fast, both driver and students are alerted.
“As an industry leader in safety products for school buses, Safe Fleet is thrilled to be working with the Division toward a common goal of increasing student safety both within and around the school bus,” said Chris Akiyama, Vice President of School Bus at Safe Fleet.
The Division have a second system called stop-arm cameras that run the whole time the bus is running.
“We do provide license plates when visible on the video,” said Lauri-Ann Turnbull Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools Transportation Supervisor in response to a Morinville Online question. “It would be a rare event when we are unable to see the license plate. Once we can confirm we can read the license of the offending vehicle we provide this footage to the local enforcement. We do not take video of the person in the car we are looking for a plate only.”
See the video above for a demonstration of how the Safe Fleet’s Predictive Stop Arm system works.