ELKHART, Ind. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski is in Michiana to learn more about new technology introduced at Elkhart schools that helps keep students safe at the bus stop.
“So far, in the demonstrations we've seen, it's phenomenal,” said Tony Gianesi, the chief operating officer for Elkhart Community Schools. “It really does give an audible, which is what it's expected to do; but in plenty of time, from what we've been able to see, to give students time to react.”
The Predictive Stop Arm has sensors that use artificial intelligence to warn bus drivers and students if an approaching vehicle is not going to stop.
The system alerts the bus driver and audibly commands students outside the bus not to cross.
So far, one Elkhart school bus has been outfitted with the device.
“We saw a need in terms of the largest number of injuries and fatalities happening when a car violates and illegally passes a stopped school bus,” said John Knox, the chairman and CEO of Safe Fleet. “So, we focused our development around coming up with a solution to help prevent the injuries and fatalities that occur when that happens.”
Back in April, Walorski and Julia Brownley of California introduced a bill to provide information to school districts about tech just like this.
“Sometimes people are saying, this is so easy, people just need to pay attention. Well, they're not, and so we have to get involved,” said Walorski. “We dropped this federal bill that basically says, let's have the Department of Transportation actually study the entire country, see what everybody is using, see what's working, and distribute that out to school corporations.”
To learn more about the legislation, click here.