BARTHOLOMEW CO. — For the first time, RTV6 has seen firsthand the newest safety technology to be used on school buses in Indiana.
Bus drivers play a huge part in keeping our kids safe.
"We do have a lot of responsibility. We wear many hats," Chris Whipker, a Bartholomew County bus driver, said.
And to help, the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation purchased eight brand new school buses, equipped with the latest safety features.
The buses have four cameras around the bus itself. So when drivers are backing up, or students are boarding the bus, they're able to have a full 360 view.
The new technology on the bus alerts the bus drivers when they're too close to something, or a car suddenly drives out in front of them. When this happens, the bus beeps and automatically slows down. The bus driver's seat notifies them as well.
The bus also shows drivers the current speed limit, when they're going over the speed limit and how many seconds they're behind the car in front of them, in case they have to act fast.
The new buses also help in bad weather.
"During rain or snow, if it starts to tip over or slide, this new technology will help prevent the accident by straightening the bus out by applying a break," Whipker said.
All of this was made possible through a pilot program with Kerlin Bus Sales and Leasing. Each bus cost more than $118,000 each.
"We want to take opportunities when given. We were a district that could do that," Karen Wetherald, transportation director, said. "I hope all districts benefit from what we're doing."
A Bartholomew parent thinks the buses are a good improvement.
"It does make me feel safer sending the kids to school and wouldn't be scared too, with all the accidents happening," Ashley Brown said. "It just kind of gives the bus drivers more technology to keep our kids safe."
Transporting 8,300 students every day in this district, the school hopes this investment shows they take their kids safety seriously.