To ensure the safety of and consistency for students attending Brighton Area Schools, Hartland Consolidated Schools, Howell Public Schools and Pinckney Community Schools, the Livingston Educational Service Agency (LESA) formed the Regional Transportation Collaborative (RTC) in 2010.
Together, the districts mentioned form the RTC and provide transportation to approximately 13,485 students each day throughout the school year.
Many children board school buses in the dark for the majority of the school year, so the LESA is making efforts to increase their safety by piloting a new illumination method on school buses called the Guardian Angel Lighting System.
The Guardian Angel Lighting System was introduced to the RTC Supervisors in June at the annual Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation (MAPT) conference.
"The most dangerous part of the bus-driving job is picking up and dropping off students at bus stops," Alice Johnson, Director of Transportation for LESA, said. "It is so critical to have good visibility, and this light enhances the walking path of the students. Anything that promotes safety for the students is a value and something I think we should do."
The Guardian Angel Lighting System consists of two red high intensity strobe lights mounted directly to the front hood of the school bus.
These strobes are designed to shine within an oncoming driver's field of vision. When activated, the lights shine across the road, illuminating a path for students who are crossing in front of the bus and in front of oncoming traffic.
The light triples the viewing distance for oncoming motorists and provides more safety by illuminating the students and making them more visible to oncoming drivers.
The Guardian Angel Lighting System serves three purposes:
- Illuminates the bus driver's view of the passengers walking from their point of safety until they board the bus
- Keeps the students 10 feet in front of the bus where they belong; students will be trained to understand the Guardian Angel lighting system
- Traffic in front of the bus and behind the bus can clearly see the passengers getting on or off the bus