UNITED STATES – An online news report from stnonline.com discusses the concept of child detection systems as a means of reducing fatal accidents at school bus stops in the United States. While the detection systems could lower the number of children hit by vehicles at bus stops, school districts are slow to buy into the technology.*
Research from “School Transportation News” shows that 90 percent of school districts in the United States and Canada are not using child detection systems to sense children at school bus stops. These systems involve 360-degree cameras to detect when children are around buses, and manufacturers say they can reduce fatal accidents.
School districts indicate that budgetary issues are only part of the hesitancy to adopt these detection systems. Officials are also concerned that the systems might result in too many alerts and not enough information for drivers when alerts go off. If alerts sound falsely and drivers do not know why alerts are going off, they could start to ignore them.
Whether districts adopt these camera detection systems or something else, they do need to address accidents at bus stops, particularly with regard to young students. A survey recently carried out by the Kansas State Department of Education concluded that 73 percent of all fatal accidents at bus stops during the last 50 years have involved students age 9 or younger.
Georgia’s Henry County School District has no current plans of buying detection systems, according to Transportation Executive Director Cliff Shearouse.
“Funds are still tight for my district, and these cameras are not considered a necessity in the big picture of things that are needed to run the transportation operation,” Shearouse said. “I don’t see us purchasing the 360-degree camera systems for a few years yet.”
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