New technology added to Yankton school buses

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YANKTON, S.D. (KELO)– School is already starting this week in parts of KELOLAND, and one school district is looking to make bus rides safer.

Caught on camera. Video from a school bus in Yankton shows drivers blowing through school bus stop arms.

That’s why the school district is hoping a new driver alert system will urge drivers to stop and not pass.

“We’re always on the lookout for new technology for our school buses. I came across this sign that you can see behind me here that instructs drivers what to do, or what the bus is about to do,” bus driver Tim Engle said.

In February, the school district bought one sign and did a study to see if it would stop drivers.

“For 21 days prior to the installation, we tracked the bus and there was 17 drive-bys total. At the end of that 21 days we put the sign on and tracked it again for 21 days, and from 17 drive bys we were reduced to two, which represented about an 83% decrease in drive-bys,” Engle said.

“Also, it’s lower so drivers can see it more directly versus up high, and I think that’s a big help,” Yankton bus supervisor Tony Anderson said.

When school starts on Monday in the Yankton School District, 17 of these buses equipped with the new technology will be rolling out to pick up and drop off kids in the school year.

“Maybe with the use of this sign, it will actually help us make our transportation just a little bit safer and a little bit quicker,” Engle said.

Despite the new alert system, the school district still urges people to pay attention on the road.

“If we’re not being cautious, it ends in tragedy,” Engle said.

The Yankton School District also reminds drivers to be cautious around buses when they are stopped around railroad tracks.

Remember, for all your back to school needs, head to KELOLAND’s Back To School page.

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