What Kobe Bryant Crash has already taught the School Bus industry in 24 HRS
Updated: Jan 28, 2020
The Sikorsky S76 helicopter carrying nine passengers including Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and his daughter, Gianna "Gigi" crashed into a hillside in Southern California just before 10 AM on January 26, 2020 as they were making their way to an AAU game. Passengers John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli and Alyssa Altobelli, along with Christina Mauser, Sarah Chester and Payton Chester, and Ara Zobayan have been identified and pronounced deceased. Although this is a horrible tragedy especially for the families and the sports industry, the main message rings loud for other industries including student transportation. In less than 24 hours of the crash the message echos: Life is precious.
See the incredible footage below of the National Transportation Safety Board's B-Roll of investigators documenting the accident site of the 1/26/2020 helicopter crash in Calabasas, CA.
Pilots and Bus Drivers
According to the article from ESPN, air traffic controllers noted poor visibility around Burbank and were providing the pilot, Ara Zobayan guidance as he navigated through what was reported to be dense morning fog. Any school bus driver can relate to this as they encounter the same weather conditions many mornings on their routes. School bus drivers and dispatchers use two-way radios to communicate much like the pilot and air traffic controllers. Much like a school bus driver doing a pre-check, a helicopter pilot will check the helicopter over - making sure the rotor blades, engine, structure, and landing gear are all in working order. Much like school buses, helicopters are also inspected annually.
One of the main issues currently seen in this ongoing investigation is the poor visibility by fog. Poor visibility is something school bus drivers know all too well. This is the cause for many crashes and accidents across the country. If you look at the 2018-2019 National School Bus Loading and Unloading Survey the majority of times when fatal school bus crashes happen are during dawn (37.5%) and dark (37.5%) hours where visibility is more of an issue, compared to the (25%) fatal accidents occurring in daylight. It's important to note that visibility is not always weather related as shown by the 2018-2019 National School Bus Loading and Unloading Survey where (12.5%) of fatal accidents occurred in cloudy conditions, whereas (87.5%) of the fatal accidents occurred in clear conditions.
Darkness can be, just if not more deadly than cloudy conditions. Regardless, poor visibility remains a threat to aviation and pupil transportation. I can not speak on behalf of the aviation industry, but I can speak up to the school bus industry. There is a proactive solution to fight the darkness and help your students be seen during times of poor visibility. It's called the Gardian Angel school bus safety lighting system.
Motorists have claimed time and time again, that they have an issue with seeing the pedestrians waiting and then crossing the street to board their school bus, and bus drivers and students have a hard time seeing each other as the bus driver waves them across the road during these critical times. That's where this amazing technology comes into play.
What is Gardian Angel?
Gardian Angel is an exterior lighting system that easily attaches to a school bus that delivers the most advanced technologies to combat stop arm violations and minimizes the public safety risks to students who rely upon school transportation.
What does it include?
Because each state has different rules and regulations as to optional school bus lighting technology, Gardian Angel, LLC offers a variety of kits to meet your bus stop needs. They have also expanded our product line to include LED lights that shine out both sides of the front of the bus. It includes (2) high intensity red LED flashing strobe lights that attach to the hood of the bus, and (2) front bumper mounted 1,000 lumen white LED flood lights which shine out each side of the front of the bus.
How Gardian Angel works
The system automatically turns on when the red lights are activated, and turn off when the entrance door of the bus is closed. No separate switches are needed.
Gardian Angel Benefits
Keeps children safe and out of the danger zone as to decrease/eliminate injuries and fatalities. Also improves visibility making it a lot easier to do your counts as well.
Can see where they step to prevent falls, improve visibility of bus driver’s hand signals motorists. Have a warning that the stop arm is deployed, and traffic can clearly see the students position.
Easy to install and low maintenance
Improve safety of their students
Peace of mind knowing child(ren) is/are safer
Generate good publicity regarding school bus safety
Life is Precious
Preventing accidents,especially when it comes to poor visibility is a requirement as life can be taken away in a moment as we've sadly seen in the Kobe crash. Life is precious and that includes the cargo inside and outside of the school bus. Please purchase the Gardian Angel to make sure students are seen, not hit. There has been enough tragedies to show this is an ongoing problem that needs addressed. Not only can it be addressed, it can be prevented. All you have to do is see the light.