First-of-its-kind technology aims to keep NYC school buses, pedestrians more safe

Kemberly Richardson Image
Thursday, January 18, 2024
Inside the push to make NYC school buses safer
Kemberly Richardson has the story.

LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) -- New York City is making a big push to keep school buses and pedestrians safer with first-of-its-kind technology.

On Thursday, officials unveiled a new technology designed to prevent school bus drivers from speeding, as well as a focus on better training.

The multi-pronged approach is already installed in 50 school buses across New York City and an additional 250 non-emergency vehicles.

"It's essential that we have the safest possible transport for all our children and their family members, and pedestrians are all safe every single day," said Deputy Commissioner for Fleet Management Keith Kerman.

Those 50 schools buses are the first in the United States to be fit with the Intelligent Speed Assistance technology. That means wherever a school bus is operating, the bus will not be able to go over the speed limit in that area.

Another key aspect of the plan is surround cameras outside of the bus to help the driver see what would otherwise be out of view, including in front and around all four corners of the vehicle.

Most drivers who are average height cannot see what is in front of them for about 10 to 15 feet an the camera system helps increase the driver's visual field.

"Even my blind spot, I have an angle where I can see whatever is going on, either the front, back or both sides," said bus driver Anne Smith.

Additionally, officials have implemented a pedestrian alert that creates a loud noise and flashes lights outside the bus when the driver turns on a turn signal.

The hope is that anyone outside the bus will be aware when a driver signals they will make a turn, even if they are distracted or not paying attention.

New York City operates 10,000 school buses and transports 150,000 children every day.

"As New York City continues to utilize innovative technology to make our city smarter and safer, putting these tools to work for our students is a no-brainer," said Mayor Eric Adams. "The School Bus Safe Fleet Transition Plan focuses on keeping kids safe by making buses safer with cameras, audible turn alerts, and updated driver safety training - all with the goal of eliminating traffic deaths and injuries."

ALSO READ | Yonkers police cracking down on drivers who illegally pass school buses

Marcus Solis with the latest.


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