The death of an Ohio boy who was run over by a school bus in September is just the latest example of why the state should require electronic sensors on all new buses, says a state lawmaker who has been working on the issue for 13 years.
“I think it’s time everybody knows what’s going on,” Sen. Dick Schafrath, R-Loudonville, said at a news conference Sept. 24. “Thirteen years we’ve been saying the same thing and nothing has happened.”
Schafrath wants the state to pay for the $900 sensors, which alert drivers that a pedestrian is in the path of the busspecifically in the areas to the right of the bus and close in below the windshield where the driver might not be able to see.
The equipment, which has been approved by the Ohio Department of Education as optional equipment, has been installed in some school districts. Others, though, don’t have the extra money.
Since the proposal would apply only to buses purchased in the future, Schafrath did not have an estimate of the cost to the state. Whatever it is, it’s worth it, said Bev Lock, a bus safety advocate whose grandson was kill by a school bus in 1986.
Schafrath cited a national study that reported 709 deaths over the past 20 years of students who were either getting on or off a school bus. Fifty were in Ohio.