CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - This school year when bus drivers in Parma start running their routes, they’ll have a new tool to keep kids safe when they’re getting it on and off the bus.
“You never want to be that person who has to respond to an accident where a student has been hit. That’s something we worry about constantly,” said Angelo Caputo, the transportation director for the Parma City School District.
He said over the past five years he’s seen a huge uptick in cars passing stopped school buses.
They’re hoping that their new extended, three-foot arms will stop drivers in their tracks.
“That stop arm is meant to break away because it does go into the other lane of traffic. If a vehicle does pass a stopped school bus and hits the bus, it’s going to break off. It’s not going to damage the bus, it’s going to damage your car,” Caputo said.
They have 10 extended arms on hand to start, which will work in conjunction with outside cameras being installed on those and dozens of other buses.
“For the past few years we’ve been doing some data collecting and we have some main arteries that run through Parma that we’ve had some very high passing rates on,” Caputo said.
Expect to see these on buses that run on Snow, Pearl, Rockside, Sprague, Broadview and State roads.
The equipment costs about $2,000 each.
While Parma City Schools are starting virtually, the district does bus routes for non-public schools.
They’ll have 31 of those routes on the road, starting tomorrow and these extended arms will be put to use there first.
Editor’s note: We reached out to the Illuminating Co. for comment about the driver in our video. The company said it is investigating.
“Safety is a core value at FirstEnergy. We are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation of the incident,” a spokesperson said.