Bus safety

Blue Bird and IMMI demonstrated the new equipment on June 13.

Source: Canva, George Brennan

Blue Bird Corporation will introduce several new safety features to its school buses starting this fall. For the first time in student transportation history, new Blue Bird buses will come equipped with three-point seat belts as standard protection for all student passengers. The company also will introduce 4Front, a steering wheel-deployed airbag for drivers.

In collaboration with IMMI, a safety systems supplier based in Indiana, Blue Bird developed these safety enhancements to improve the protection of school children and bus drivers. Additionally, Blue Bird will implement several other safety improvements, including high-intensity LED lighting on the exterior and interior of the buses, high-resolution front and rear cameras, lighted stop arms, lighted school bus signs, and strobe lights. Collision mitigation systems will also be added to the currently-standard electronic stability control (ESC).

School buses form the largest mass transit system in the United States, with approximately 480,000 buses in operation. Over 25 million children and more than 175,000 drivers use school buses daily, covering nearly six billion miles annually.

“For nearly a century, our children’s safety has been our business. We proudly carry millions of school children every year,” said Britton Smith, president of Blue Bird Corporation. “Today we announce the most comprehensive safety upgrades to our school buses in our history.”

"We are excited to partner with Blue Bird as their new seating and advanced safety supplier,” said Larry Gray, CEO of IMMI. “We commend Blue Bird for making lap-shoulder belts standard safety equipment and for their leadership in protecting drivers.”

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