New school bus safety features to keep your child safe

Cameras and GPS systems are equipped on every school bus.

New school buses feature cameras and tracking devices to help keep your children safe.

They're rolling through maintenance before they hit the road.

"We are preparing just to make sure that all of our buses are up and ready to go," said Tom Williams, the Transpiration Supervisor in Washington County, Virginia. "We try to take care of any maintenance issues that may have been turned in by the driver at the end of school."

The buses cover more than 3,000 miles on a daily basis at Washington County Tennessee and Virginia.

Each department has about 130 employees and more than 70 buses.

"I keep my elementary, especially the kindergarten kids, on the front two seats so I can address any issue that they may have," said bus driver Paul Newberry.

Safety is important inside but the biggest danger is outside, where pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicles account for 21% of bus fatalities nationwide.

By far the most fatalities — nearly three-fourths — are caused by people in other vehicles.

"There’s a lot of reporting of people passing school buses which is very dangerous especially when the stop sign comes out," said Tim Post, the Transportation Supervisor in Washington County, Tennessee. "As soon as I put the stop out they start passing me and it’s very very dangerous, especially on 107 that’s a very dangerous were to pass."

In Tennessee, buses are adding a barrier to protect children crossing from a bus.

In Virginia, they've taken similar measures.

The school buses are equipped with four indoor cameras and two outdoor cameras to make sure both the children and the bus drivers are safe.

They are equipped with a GPS system to monitor the daily routes of the bus.

"This is an extension of the classroom. I want the kids to feel safe and feel loved on these buses," said Post.

"They all want to see their child get on the bus and be seated. I try to ensure them that they will be safe," said Newberry.

Newberry has been a bus driver for ten years.

His top priority is making sure the children are safe.

"When you’re out in the community and a parent comes to you and they appreciate what you have done with their children, it’s pretty rewarding," said Newberry.

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