ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Elkhart Community Schools are taking extra measures to protect their students at the bus stop.
They are installing new technology in some of their school buses by the start of next school year.
Area school districts have implemented stop arm camera systems to help catch drivers who don't stop for school buses, but now there is technology that can actually warn drivers and students if a driver is going to run the school bus stop arm.
It's called the Predictive Stop Arm. Radar detectors are placed just below the stop arm on a bus, and the device uses artificial intelligence to predict if vehicles around the school bus are going to stop.
The device is activated once the stop arm is out, and if it detects a vehicle is not stopping or that a stopped vehicle begins to take off, it will beep to alert the bus driver and it will audibly instruct students to stop.
A school district in Minnesota has been testing the predictive stop arm since March, and their supervisor of transportation says the technology has worked well for them.
“It's been extremely successful,” supervisor Derrick Agate said. “Our drivers absolutely love the technology. It's something to give them a peace of mind and minimize the stress of driving and making stops.
“We put them on buses where we have the most violations of stop arms, and it's worked extremely well. We haven't had any failure with it not notifying students, and all the drivers seem to really love it.”
One Elkhart school bus has already been outfitted with the predictive stop arm. They are installing it on more of their buses by the start of next school year.
To learn more about the Predictive Stop Arm, visit www.safefleet.net.