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News


school transportation fund, districts like Alamosa are reimbursed for “alterations” to school buses, such as the addition of LEDs, as long as the equipment results in an “increase in efficiency and safety or are necessary to meet minimum standards.”


School districts must own the school buses sfor at least three years and the LEDs must be an upgrade from standard incandescent lights. Despite any delay in covering the initial cost, Sykes said LEDs are worth every penny.


“I absolutely believe they are worth the


investment in the long run, (it’s) just much easier when purchasing (new) as opposed to retrofitting,” he added. “Tere is only one downfall to LEDs that I have noticed over the years both on buses and personal equip- ment, and that is the lack of heat produced to help with snow melting during winter driving months. Most of them are bright enough they still shine through, but we do get wet snow that builds thick enough to possibly create a problem.” LEDs, by nature, are designed to emit light at lower temperatures, which is why they last longer than traditional incan- descent lights, require less maintenance and save money in the long run. But the brightness, or in this case electro-lumi- nescence, of LEDs is more than adequate to bring attention to the school bus at stops. Dozens of STN survey respondents specifically cited increased visibility and brightness as benefits. Seneca R-7 School District in southwest-


to and from school, rarely with any serious incidents. Million Children


475,000 25


As a recognized industry leader, SoundOff Commercial Vehicle Products is solely focused on engineering and manufacturing LED lights to provide the highest degree of safety for school bus passengers.


Our mission is to advocate safety and protect what is most important to our future:


the next generation.


1.616.662.6199 www.soundoffcvp.com


30 School Transportation News • MAY 2017 CELEBRATING25YEARS


Each day, approximately carry


School Buses


ern Missouri experienced this firsthand after moving to LEDs two years ago when bus stops along State Highway 43 became even more challenging with a posted speed limit increase to 65 mph. Transportation Director Eric Smith said the originally district tried a host of remedies, from altering routes to retraining students on where to wait for the bus, and pulling into neighbors driveways for loading and unloading to allowing school bus drivers to turn on the yellow warning lights at 65 mph rather than 45 mph. “All of these implementations helped the safety of the students but didn’t decrease the number of stop sign violations that we were having happen up to two times a day,” said Smith. But since the transition to LEDs from incandescent lights, Smith said the decrease in fly-bys fell to one per week and most recently maybe one a month. ●


PHOTO CREDIT: THOMAS BUILT BUSES


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