Prop arms help train drivers to check mirrors thoroughly

Thomas McMahon
Posted on October 27, 2014
“Can You See Me” arms can be placed around buses to encourage drivers to look closely for, as an example, a child picking up a dropped item.

“Can You See Me” arms can be placed around buses to encourage drivers to look closely for, as an example, a child picking up a dropped item.

A new arm-like prop can be placed around school buses to help train drivers to thoroughly check their mirrors for students in the danger zone.

The product, called “Can You See Me,” was created by veteran school bus driver Victoria DeCarlo, who also invented the Steffi Crossing Enhancer.

Transportation managers and trainers can place the arms in various places around the bus, such as along the side or below the front bumper. The idea is to reinforce the notion that a child next to the bus isn’t always easy to see.

DeCarlo said that the “Can You See Me” arm “basically trains the driver to look beyond the expected.” “The expected” might be a person standing upright in clear view. But a closer look in the mirrors might be needed to spot a child bending down to pick up a dropped item — a situation that has ended in tragedy in some cases.

In new driver training, for example, the instructor can place the prop arm next to the bus and then tell the driver trainee to check the mirrors before moving the bus. If the driver sees the item, he or she can be instructed to secure the bus, take out the keys and check it out.

The prop arms come in three colors for various levels of difficulty in spotting them.
The prop arms come in three colors for various levels of difficulty in spotting them.
“When the driver sees what it is, reality strikes hard and is unforgettable, making safer drivers,” DeCarlo said.

The “Can You See Me” arms have been in use at the district that DeCarlo drives for, Lake Shore Central School District in Angola, N.Y. Transportation Supervisor Perry Oddi has been planting them randomly on buses to make sure that drivers are doing thorough pre-trip inspections.

“He will hide one of these behind the back seat, under seats, etc., and has had an overwhelming success with his drivers finding the item during their pre-trip,” DeCarlo said.

Drivers are instructed to radio in to the office immediately after finding one of the prop arms.

The “Can You See Me” kit contains three arms and one clear tag with instructions on returning them to the supervisor. The arms come in three colors — tan, black and red — for various levels of difficulty in spotting them.

For more information, go here.

Related Topics: danger zone, driver training, mirrors

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 3 )
  • Edward

     | about 5 years ago

    Used to do something similar with cones, but I think this could be more effective as they may be more difficult to see.

  • See all comments
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