Safe Fleet, the parent company of Seon, is developing a predictive stop arm that uses smart sensor data and advanced analytics to measure the speed, distance, and deceleration rate of approaching cars. Jetha said a verbal warning plays over a speaker system mounted inside and outside the bus if the system determines that the car is not going to stop in time. Safe Fleet and Seon are also working on a next-level solution to help

prevent serious injury from passing motorists by combining smart sensor technology with their InView 360-degree camera system. Video alone relies on the driver to see and respond to pedestrians. Sensor technology can have too many false alarms, and often there is no context, or “intelligence” to the alarm. Integration is the key. Sensors that trigger alarms and display “zones of interest” in the overhead mirror or monitor, along with audible alerts, will give the driver the specific feedback needed to assess the risk. David Ogilvie, director of transportation for Collier County Public Schools in Naples, Florida, said he has chosen 360-degree cameras as standard equipment on all buses. Fifty-two of the district’s 361 buses are equipped with Seon cameras. “Te feedback has been positive,” said Ogilvie. “Most of the drivers like the cameras because they eliminate blind spots while driving and changing lanes, and they can see if there are any vehicles coming up along the sides of the bus. Tese cameras help the drivers see what they can’t see in the mirrors.” He added that some drivers initially forgot how to use the camera monitor, such as adjusting the brightness level, but the district’s trainers addressed the issue. Tomas Built Buses spokeswoman Christina Chu said the OEM’s PV360 high-resolution camera, which is a factory installed option as part of the BusWise suite of technologies, creates a seamless panoramic view around the bus. If needed, drivers can toggle between different cameras for a closer look. Adam Sharp of school bus contractor Sharp Bus Lines, which has more than a dozen locations near Toronto, recently purchased 70 Saf-T-Liner C2s equipped with BusWise. “I believe we’re the largest purchaser of this technol- ogy in North America,” said Sharp, from the company’s main headquarters in Brantford, Ontario. “Our drivers say that the camera system increases their awareness and improves child safety, especially in the danger zone. Tey don’t find the screen to be a distraction.” Peter Plate, director of sales and marketing for Rosco Vision Systems, explained how Rosco’s wide-angle view camera, which is located over the side loading door on the new Collins Low-Floor bus, works to improve safety at the bus stop. Te camera is positioned so that the driver has a hor- izontal and vertical view of the loading ramp that deploys to allow students in wheelchairs and walkers to load the bus in the same manner as other students. With a Rosco Mor-Vision monitor, the overhead mirror doubles as a camera monitor when it is in operational mode, such as when the side loading door is open or the bus is in reverse. An ultra-bright image is pro- jected, allowing the mirror to function as the monitor. One advantage of this design, Plate added, is that the monitor doesn’t take up valuable space in the driver compartment. Night vision technology is standard from Rosco, and with the

microphone option, the driver is able to hear conversations taking place within 10 feet of the camera. Tis allows a driver who isn’t watching the Mor-Vision monitor to be alerted to situations that may require his or her assistance, Plate explained. 

60 School Transportation News • MAY 2018

Passive Versus Active: Choosing Solutions to Combat Illegal Passing

Columbus City Schools in Ohio debuted its

safety bus (above) at last November’s NAPT Sum- mit. Fleet Services Manager Jeff Vrabel shared that the bus, which boasts additional flashing lights on the front and reflective tape on the back, has helped to increase visibility on dark mornings. The solution, approved by the Ohio Highway

Patrol, is one example of a passive solution that alerts motorists about school buses stopping to load and unload students. While it flashes and emits verbal warnings, it relies on motorists to stop for the bus and exhibit caution. School bus contractor Cook-Illinois Corporation in Chicago is testing an active loading and un- loading zone solution aimed at keeping students safe from their own school bus. The MDZ Shield installed in the right-rear wheel well prevents students from being run over by deflecting their bodies, or other objects, out of the bus’ way. The Illinois Department of Transportation signed off on the Cook-Illinois school bus equipped with the MDZ Shield, and manufacturer Pupil Trans- portation Safety International said the California Highway Patrol also approved the equipment. Extended stop arms that span a lane of traffic

next to the school bus and that create a physical ostacle to passing motorists could be considered a hybrid of passive and active solutions. Seven states have either piloted or approved for use an extended stop arm with an attached “stop” sign and LED lights from North Carolina-based compa- ny Bus Safety Solutions. Over 500 units have been installed on buses in 35 school districts. One Vir- ginia district saw a 55 percent reduction in illegal passing during its pilot.

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