LAUREL, Miss. — Safety solutions supplier Safe Fleet hosted a demonstration of its Predictive Stop Arm (PSA) technology here on Tuesday morning, the 10-year anniversary of a fatal school bus crash that killed a 5-year-old student.
On the anniversary of Nathan Key’s death, his mother, Lori Key McJohnson, attended the demonstration in support of additional school bus safety and preventive measures, according to a news release from Safe Fleet.
Since the 2009 accident, McJohnson has helped push through Nathan’s Law, which was passed in 2011. The law resulted in increased fines and penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
Safe Fleet has since developed advanced technology for the danger zone to address school bus safety. The danger zone is the area extending 15 feet to the front, rear, and sides of the bus that poses the highest risk of children being struck by passing vehicles or their own bus.
The PSA solution uses radar technology and predictive analytics to monitor oncoming vehicle traffic for possible stop-arm violations, according to Safe Fleet. The technology is designed to help increase safety in the danger zone by aiming to notify the bus driver and students that it may not be safe to cross the street — before an accident occurs.
“The devastating event that impacted the Key family 10 years ago should never happen. Unfortunately, the illegal passing of stopped school buses, which creates incidents such as this, are still occurring every day,” said Mike Schulte, president of Safe Fleet. “Our PSA solution aims to save lives and pave the way towards a future of zero fatalities in school transportation-related injuries.”
Passing vehicles cause an estimated two-thirds of school bus loading and unloading fatalities, according to Safe Fleet.
Meanwhile, Jones County Schools is the first district in the state of Mississippi to implement Safe Fleet’s PSA technology.
“No family should ever experience the loss of a child. We are hoping with the implementation of PSA, we will eliminate the possibility for accidents, such as Nathan’s, to ever occur in the district again,” said Tommy Parker, the superintendent of the district.