New Gardian Angel Lighting System Increases School Bus Safety

Mechanics Hub - January 29, 2014

The Gardian Angel Light System On School Buses Saves Lives

It's an ongoing problem.... students getting on and off a school bus through a gauntlet of drivers who still don't know or don't care about the traffic rules concerning school buses. When a bus is stopped on the right side of the road there will be students that have to cross the street. This puts them in danger. Many school districts across North America deal with traffic driving by a school bus that has it's loading lights on.

There are cameras that can be installed on the stop arm which capture licence plates but that still does not help prevent an accident when it's pitch black outside and drivers in vehicles are not paying attention. Cell phones and other distractions contribute to this problem and the Gardian Angel will alert commuters visually when there are students crossing the road.

The Story Behind The Gardian Angel

The Gardian Angel was designed by Steve Gardner a retired school bus fleet mechanic from Ohio who wanted to help improve visibility for drivers approaching school buses loading and unloading students. He saw the need for the extra lighting after he read about a fatality involving a 15 year old girl getting hit by a vehicle while crossing the street. The driver's first comment was they could not see the girl crossing the street. The driver obviously ran the loading lights. Maybe if they had seen the student their life might have been spared.

Advantages Of Using The Gardian Angel Lighting System

The Gardian Angel allows drivers to see students from the start of their walk across the street to board the bus. Traffic from both sides can clearly see students loading and unloading. Students are instructed to walk 10 feet in front of the bus for maximum exposure to oncoming traffic.

The bright light across the road also allows students to see the conditions of the road. Icy patches or an obstruction can be detected. This lighting system is invaluable in rural areas where street lights are far and few between. Nine states across the United States have been field testing the gardian angel and there has been a lot of positive feedback,

The Message That Needs To Be Addressed to Motorists

Just the other day I talked to a bus driver who was hopping mad because he almost opened his exit door to a driver who passed him on the curb side and flew by without slowing down. Drivers need to be more aware of the laws. The driving force needs to be reminded that loading lights are installed on a school bus for a reason?

This Gardian Angel system gets two thumbs up from me. This new light in the night will save lives and take more stress away from school bus operators. Please comment below if you have any thing to add. I'd appreciate it!