ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — The Orangeburg County School District is the first in the state to receive school bus upgrades with illuminated stop signs and stop arms. District officials say these upgrades are being made with students' safety as top of mind.
“Right now we see horrific numbers, high numbers, where individuals just kind of [disregard] the school bus and that is precious cargo getting on the bus and off the bus daily," said director of transportation Keith Terry.
According to Terry, this could happen up to 30 times in one day where motorists refuse to stop for the school bus. When students are being picked up in the early hours of the morning and dropped off in the evenings, the lights will help make them more visible to other drivers on the road in hopes that it will make drivers more vigilant.
“It feels great because we’re moving in the right direction and I hope it inspires our neighboring districts and individuals throughout the state to tag along and do the exact same thing because that’s the reason why we’re here. Our children are really our tomorrow," said Terry.
So far, there is one bus within the district's fleet that has received these upgrades through its pilot program. By next fall, the district will evaluate data to determine if they will continue to upgrade the remainder of its fleet.