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Safer school buses on the way to Yuma County

Buses to be installed with technology to enhance safety for the students and drivers

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - School buses throughout Yuma County will now be safer, thanks to a grant of $785,000 from the Arizona Transportation Modernization Grant Program.

New technology will be added to the school buses that can reduce parents and drivers stress.

Cameras, turn-by-turn navigation systems and location monitoring for students will be installed on all school buses.

The location tracking will allow parents to quickly verify the location of the buses their children are riding or the children’s entry and exit times. 

Ana Henderson, parent of a fourth grader says this would be helpful in many ways, for parents and bus drivers.

"These bus drivers have our precious cargo. They take our babies to school and back and we depend on them so much," says Henderson. "So let's just make it easy for them and easy for the parents. I'm happy they're doing this and investing in our kids."

She says being able to locate her child's bus at all times will bring her piece of mind.

"Because when they had that lockdown by Gila Ridge, all of the schools there were also locked down so my daughter attends one of those schools. She also rides the bus. So I didn't know if she actually made it to school or if her bus was one of those rerouted," says Henderson. "And those that were rerouted you had to pick up your kids immediately. The ones that were at school, you had to wait till the lockdown was lifted. So I was in limbo like what do I do? I didn't know where she was at."

Another big help is the cameras that could catch any issues, such as bullying on the bus.

"So we've had parents kind of stop by and be asking us, 'Hey did your daughter see what happened? Do you know who did this first?' And so parents want to know what's happening but the bus driver, their priority is driving," continues Hernandez.

Rhiannon Lorona, parent of a high school junior, says cameras should have always been in the bus.

"If something happens to my kid, there's video proof of what happened. Cause you know a kid will come home and be like that kid hit me, and then you see the camera and you're like no you hit him. So, I like it better as a parent cause then you know what really happened on that bus," explains Lorona.

She also feels good about the GPS tracking.

"Cause then if they break down, we know where they are," says Lorona.

The Yuma Schools Transportation Consortium says all of their school buses will be equipped with these safety improvements within two years.

Article Topic Follows: Yuma Education
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Vanessa Gongora

Vanessa Gongora joined the KYMA News 11 team in 2022.

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