New, life-saving technology added to school buses in Kanawha County

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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The Kanawha County Schools Department of Transportation is installing new technology to two school buses that could be life-saving to students riding the bus.

"If one would fall under the bus, the driver would be alerted and show the location of the individual," Jerry Young, crew leader for electronic techs, said.

On Tuesday the transportation department installed a Student Detection System, also known as SDS, to Bus 1220.

Crews mounted 10 sensors underneath the bus, creating a 360-degree detection sensor for bus drivers.

If a child walks within 10 feet of the school bus, the sensor will notify the bus driver through a monitor.

"It would throw an alarm to the driver and he would be alerted not to move the bus to make sure wherever that child is to get out from under the bus and make sure he is safe, Young said.

Young says SDS is not distracting to bus drivers and that the alarm turns off once the bus's doors are shut and the coast is clear.

"I'm kind of excited, actually. It makes a lot of sense to have it," Emily Lanham, who drives one of the buses the SDS is getting installed on, said. "It's going to be another great layer of safety for the kids."

Each student detective system costs $2,000, but Young says the price is well worth it.

"You can't put a price on a child's life. If (it saves) one child, that system has paid for its self."

The department says they're only installing the SDS on two buses for now, but if it proves to be helpful, they will consider adding it to every bus in Kanawha County.

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