POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - We have all heard the stories of a child being left on a bus somewhere, and the questions surrounding why the driver or somebody didn't notice.
Well, the Poplar Bluff School District may have found a solution.
"You cannot deny that the lights are flashing and the horn is blaring at you, it's going to get your attention," Ronnie Martin, Transportation Director for Poplar Bluff Schools said.
All the school buses in the Poplar Bluff district now have a special feature to check for students. It requires the drivers to go to the back of the bus and click a button before getting off.
"If you fail to do that with this particular bus the headlights will flash and the horn will go off," Martin said.
According to Martin, the feature is great for checking on students but there are other benefits as well.
"That if for some reason, let's say there's an issue that something has happened to the driver, maybe the fell down the steps and that horn has went off," Martin said. "The horn and the lights are going to get somebody's attention. Hey, there's something not quite right with that school bus there."
Martin also said it is not up to the driver to turn the system on, it is automatic.
"Anytime we use the 8-way light system, this particular bus, it activates that system," Martin said. "It doesn't matter if you've used it once or if we've used it 100 times before we've parked the bus…it's activated that first time."
According to Martin, drivers have roughly five minutes to check the bus and click the button at the back before the alarm goes off but if the door opens before the button is hit the alarm sounds.
"You know, it is the duty of every bus driver to, anywhere, to regardless of if they have that system or not to go check their bus," Martin said. "But this here just adds that extra dimension that 'hey, there is an alarm system I have to shut off.'"
Martin has a suggestion for each school district without the system in their buses.
"It's not if a child is going to fall asleep on a bus, it's when a child is going to fall asleep on the bus," Martin said. "It's going to happen daily. It's a very good system to have. It's a really good system. It needs to be required for everybody."