Safety

Mirrors: Enhancing Safety From All Angles

Kelly Aguinaldo
Posted on July 7, 2014
istock image © snipes213

istock image © snipes213

A school bus driver’s ability to see clearly in and around the bus is paramount to ensuring students’ safety, particularly with bullying incidents on the rise and the potential for danger zone accidents, and a bus’ mirrors are important pieces of equipment that help drivers to effectively do their job.

Rosco Vision Systems, Tiger Mirror Corp. and Woodstock Safety Mirror Co. have kept this in mind by developing products — including rearview mirrors and a stop arm equipped with a mirror — that enhance the driver’s view inside the bus, around the back of the bus, and the driver’s view of the danger zone.  

Officials from the companies spoke with SBF about the technology and the design of these products that increase the visibility of these areas for the driver.

Rosco Vision Systems
Rosco’s latest offering to the school bus market is MOR-Vision, a mirror and monitor combination camera system that integrates a 7-inch ultra-bright LCD color monitor with the rearview mirror in a school bus.

The monitor within the rearview mirror allows the driver to see the camera image through the tint on the mirror glass when the bus is in reverse. Company officials say the backup camera installed on the back of the bus provides the driver with a 150-degree diagonal field of vision for expansive coverage behind the bus.

In addition, the STSC109B camera has a CMOS lens sensor that can process images in all lighting conditions, including complete darkness. There is also an option for a second camera to be added to the system.

  • The MOR-Vision mirror and monitor combination camera system from Rosco Vision Systems integrates a 7-inch ultra-bright LCD color monitor with the rearview mirror in a school bus. The monitor allows the driver to see the camera image through the tint on the mirror glass when the bus is in reverse.
    The MOR-Vision mirror and monitor combination camera system from Rosco Vision Systems integrates a 7-inch ultra-bright LCD color monitor with the rearview mirror in a school bus. The monitor allows the driver to see the camera image through the tint on the mirror glass when the bus is in reverse.


The MOR-Vision mirror-monitor is compatible with all of Rosco’s backup cameras, including P/Ns STSC141, STSC130B/W, STSC106 and STSC112.

A normal, full mirror view reappears once the vehicle is shifted out of reverse. However, when the bus is shifted into “drive,” “flasher” or “park” modes, the driver has the option to view a second camera depending on how the system is wired and triggered. The second camera can automatically provide an image to the driver of right-side danger zones, such as the loading door area and the rear axle area. The second camera can also provide interior bus and seating views.

MOR-Vision is available in several models as a kit that includes a rearview mirror with the monitor and a backup camera. The STSK6630, which is designed for large school buses, features a rearview mirror that’s 6 inches by 30 inches.

The STSK5530, which is designed for small buses, includes a rearview mirror that’s 6 inches by 16 inches.

A third model, STSK1030, offers a larger rearview mirror — 10 inches by 30 inches — as part of the kit.

 

  • Tiger Mirror Corp.'s new rearview mirror for large school buses features a 6-inch by 24-inch convex, safety-tempered glass lens that is designed to enhance the driver's ability to see students seated behind him or her in the bus.
    Tiger Mirror Corp.'s new rearview mirror for large school buses features a 6-inch by 24-inch convex, safety-tempered glass lens that is designed to enhance the driver's ability to see students seated behind him or her in the bus.

Tiger Mirror Corp.
Tiger Mirror Corp. recently introduced a new rearview mirror for large school buses.

While it is shorter than a standard interior mirror, company officials say the mirror is designed to improve the driver’s view inside the bus while maximizing space for storage in the header area of the driver’s compartment.

The mirror has the same driver-controlled knob tensioner as its predecessor, but it features a smaller, 6-inch by 24-inch convex, safety-tempered glass lens.

Convex mirrors are commonly used on the right side of vehicles to improve or expand the driver’s field of view and eliminate blind spots, according to Tiger Mirror Corp. This same convex technology enhances the driver’s ability to see students seated behind him or her in the bus.

  • Here’s a back view of Tiger Mirror’s new rearview mirror. It features a knob tensioner that can be controlled by the driver. The mirror can be combined with Tiger’s 6-inch by 24-inch molded polycarbonate sun visor.
    Here’s a back view of Tiger Mirror’s new rearview mirror. It features a knob tensioner that can be controlled by the driver. The mirror can be combined with Tiger’s 6-inch by 24-inch molded polycarbonate sun visor.

    The new rearview mirror can be combined with Tiger Mirror’s 6-inch by 24-inch molded polycarbonate sun visor. Officials say the visor has an aircraft inspired, easily adjustable slide mount, and it is very durable and resistant to breakage.


“Our goal is to make products that are user friendly and designed to last as long as the bus does to save school bus operators money over the life cycle of the bus,” says Tony Pietrowski, design engineer for Tiger Mirror Corp.

Moreover, officials say that drivers’ ability to control the adjustment of the rearview mirror and sun visor helps to ensure optimum use and an extra degree of safety for bus passengers, the driver, pedestrians and approaching vehicles.

Woodstock Safety Mirror Co.
Woodstock Safety Mirror Co. offers several safety products for the school bus market, including the rear right-side stop arm equipped with an acrylic mirror (the 8300 Series).

Company founder and President Gloria Buley, who developed Woodstock’s products, says she created a stop arm for the right side of the school bus due to the increasing number of illegal-passing incidents on the right side of the vehicle.

“Even though it’s a smaller percentage than on the left, it’s still very critical because that’s the point where the passengers get on and off the bus,” Buley says of the importance of addressing right-side stop-arm violations.

As a former school bus driver and current New York state 19A motor vehicle examiner and school bus driver instructor, Buley brought her knowledge and experience in the field to the development of Woodstock Safety Mirror Co.’s products.

  • Woodstock Safety Mirror Co. offers a rear right-side stop arm equipped with an acrylic mirror. Company founder and President Gloria Buley says it’s designed to bring the back of the bus closer for the driver so he or she can see if there is a child in the danger zone.
    Woodstock Safety Mirror Co. offers a rear right-side stop arm equipped with an acrylic mirror. Company founder and President Gloria Buley says it’s designed to bring the back of the bus closer for the driver so he or she can see if there is a child in the danger zone.

    “I put the mirror on the back of the stop arm so that I was able to see the danger zone through my west coast [i.e., side] mirror as a reverse image,” she explains. “It brings the rear of the bus closer so that I can see if there’s a child in the danger zone before I initiate the movement of the bus.”


The unit works in conjunction with a school bus’ current red warning lights. When the bus door opens, the stop arm with the mirror folds out. It can be programmed for a 3-second delay after the door is shut.

The right-side stop arm with a mirror is available in two models: 8350-11-001 and 8350-21-001. The LEDs in both models conform to SAE-J1133 for vibration, moisture, dust, corrosion, photometry and warping, and a wind guard comes standard with the unit.

The unit is designed to withstand wind gusts of up to 40 mph before the breakaway system will become disengaged.

For more information
To find out more about mirror-based products for school buses, visit these companies’ websites:

Rosco Vision Systems
www.roscomirrors.com

Tiger Mirror Corp.
www.tigermirror.com

Woodstock Safety Mirror Co.
www.woodstocksafetymirror.com

Related Topics: mirrors

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