Countless students begin their school day by riding a school bus. In the past year, there have been many tragic reports of children being struck by cars as they tried to get on or off their buses. One school system in Minnesota is currently testing new technology that may help prevent these types of horrendous pedestrian accidents.
The technology is called the Predictive Stop Arm and consists of a radar that can analyze the speed of oncoming traffic as it approaches a stopped school bus. The radar will then calculate the probability of a targeted vehicle's likelihood of stopping to allow the safe passage of passengers on or off the bus. If the computer predicts that a vehicle is unlikely to stop, it signals the bus driver with warning lights and a warning beep. If the oncoming car is calculated to have no chance of stopping in time, then an audible warning will be projected to students that warns them it is unsafe to cross the street.
So far, only one school system is testing the equipment. Bus drivers are in support of the radar system. The algorithms are capable of measuring a vehicle that is approximately 300 yards away, which may enable drivers to prevent a tragedy moments before a motorist could possibly strike a student.
In the district that is testing the Predictive Stop Arm, an estimated 8,000 students ride a bus. If the technology proves to be successful, it could be one more way that schools are able to ensure the safety of the students under their care. Sadly, there may be no way to prevent all pedestrian accidents, no matter how much technology is invented. Those who have been injured by a negligent party may have legal recourse through the Minnesota courts to recover the monetary damages they have sustained.