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.