The story of a school bus lighting system and its inventor and promoter has been archived in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Director of Marketing at Gardian Angel LLC Andrew Gardner and the Gardian Angel are now part of the digital time capsule at the museum in Washington, D.C., according to a news release from the company.
The story details how the Gardian Angel school bus lighting system was created by former school bus mechanic Steve Gardner, and Steve and Andrew’s endeavors getting state approvals; the growth of the company and the lighting system as a solution to prevent the nationwide issue of illegal school bus passing.
Andrew’s story took a unique turn after he provided the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) with evidence that aided the federal investigation into the fatal Rochester, Indiana, school bus crash in October 2018. Gardian Angel is named in NTSB documents that include the final report on the investigation. (It is mentioned in the report in section 2.5.3: Other Technologies to Prevent Illegal School Bus Passings and Increase Crossing Safety.) The federal agency’s final recommendations are now also in H.R. 2, also known as the Moving Forward Act. H.R. 2 was passed by the U.S. House and currently sits in the U.S. Senate.
Gardian Angel is an exterior lighting system that attaches to a school bus with the goal of helping combat stop-arm violations and minimizing the safety risks to student riders. It is designed to help drivers clearly see students in darkness, provide a lit path for pedestrians walking toward the bus, and enable cars in front of and behind the bus to clearly see pedestrians walking toward the school bus in darkness. A 1,000-lumen white LED floodlight shines out of the side of the front of the bus. The unit is aimed at the ground and automatically turns on when the red lights are activated, then turns off when the bus entrance door is closed.
Gardian Angel reminds customers to check with state requirements for specific mounting locations, since they may vary. School districts in 23 states can purchase Gardian Angel’s lighting system for their bus fleet.