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January 23, 2014  |   Comments (12)   |   Post a comment

Former mechanic creates bus safety lighting system


Steve Gardner created the Gardian Angel, a safety lighting system for use on school buses. The former fleet and school bus mechanic was inspired to provide the solution in response to news of an accident in 2010 in which a 15-year-old girl was crossing the street to board her school bus and was struck and killed.

Gardner, the founder and president of Gardian Angel LLC, recounts in his eBook about the product, “The Essential Guide to Seeing Safety for Students in a New Light,” how in the incident a car traveling in the opposite direction of the bus at 54 miles per hour never slowed down, even though the bus had its red lights activated. The first words the driver of the car said were, “I never saw her," according to Gardner.

Gardian Angel LLC manufactures, sells and distributes the lighting system.

The system is composed of three lights. Two red, high intensity flashing strobe lights are mounted on the front of the hood of the bus, which is in the line of sight of an automobile. There is also a 1,000 lumen, six-diode, white flood light mounted on the left corner of the bus’ front bumper. When the bus driver makes a stop and opens the door, the white light activates, giving the students a path to walk in. The path created by the light extends beyond the 10-foot danger zone around the bus, according to Gardner.

Gardner added that the system also:

• Warns motorists to pay attention while the stop arm is out
• Alerts drivers that students are crossing
• Lets traffic clearly see children boarding
• Enables students to see where to step to prevent falls
• Keeps children safe and out of the danger zone
• Illuminates through inclement weather and creates a visible path in daylight

The lighting system is being field tested on buses across the U.S. Gardner says in his eBook that it has proven beneficial in nine states: Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

“It's a great idea for our rural roads that are so dark," said Robyn Seymour, transportation director at Bedford Public Schools in Temperance, Mich.

Below is a video from Gardian Angel on the lighting system.

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A great idea that needs further development. This deserves an award of merit for a great idea.

Henry Elebra sld    |    Feb 05, 2014 06:42 AM

Driving school buses for 25 years. This is the best light ever. I Hope that Montana schools adopt this system. Winter driving is so dark here, it's even hard to see the kids from the drivers seat.

Jeanne Thornton    |    Feb 03, 2014 11:51 AM

This is a great idea. I think that all buses should have this in order to have the safety that school bus drivers need.

Julia Fox    |    Feb 03, 2014 08:51 AM

Surely needed.

bernice baxter    |    Jan 31, 2014 04:10 PM

What a great idea. Anything to make drivers aware of school buses is a benefit to road and student safety. It might be important to note that although snow plows are lit up like Christmas trees drivers still run into them. Having said that, Mr. Gardners idea is still a great one.

Hans Jons    |    Jan 31, 2014 01:17 PM

This is a great idea! I have two girls and want all kids to be safe from harm. The more lights the better!

Robert Reasor    |    Jan 31, 2014 12:20 PM

This will save OUR children all over the world...Thank you, Steve Gardner!

Carlene DeFalco    |    Jan 29, 2014 12:06 PM

I would like to contact Gardian Angel.

Tony Keeler    |    Jan 29, 2014 06:03 AM

I'm an ex-bus driver. There were many a times I'd have to turn off and secure the bus tand walk kids across the road for fear they may have been hit. I even changed the direction of my route so the kids would exit on the right of the bus. This should be a federal upgrade law. Although not a driver now, I still help stop traffic if I'm behind a bus. People just buzz on by all the time. Congrats to the inventor.

Mary Jane Maida    |    Jan 26, 2014 02:35 PM

I am a school bus driver for east Penn school disicrt Lehigh county in pa THis system is a great idea all buses should have this there motto is if you can't do it safe dont do it All buse should have this system I know we won't see this system on any of are buses we are the only bus company with old buses and other issues we work for first student and a big company like that you would think they would be high in safety but they are far from it money first safety last

wendy yates    |    Jan 26, 2014 07:57 AM

This is wonderful! I'm what my county calls a retainer. I come to work everyday but I may not do a route everyday. I run drivers routes when they are absent, broke down, etc. This would be great for me in the fact that I do not know the children at all or from which direction the children would be approaching the bus. It would be nice to have another light shining on the right side also. I have had chidlren approach my bus on the right side walking along side of the bus. Great Idea, Thanks! I pray one is installed on my bus in the near future

Tammie Tucker    |    Jan 26, 2014 06:53 AM

I have always said that we need red lights at the car divers line of sight, plus we need the headlights to flash alternatively. This would attract the oncoming driver's attention more. The red lights in the grill or on the bumper would be a big plus! I hope we can get some changes done on the buses so we can make it safer. The red lights have been the same since the school bus was invented..... ten feet high?????? Which is eye level for who???? No one! It is time to re-think where we need the red lights on a school bus and where to add more.

Kenny Adams    |    Jan 23, 2014 06:52 PM

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