SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Sending a child off to school takes a certain amount of trust, and this year Canyons School District is making extra efforts to build that with parents.
The district has a new way of making sure students get to and from school safely.
“This will kind of help parents… have an ease of mind,” said Bryce Fuller, an I.T. Field Technician for Canyons School District.
Brand new alarms are now in the works for all 170+ school buses district-wide. Officials call it the ‘Child Checkmate System,’ and the set-up automatically activates with the turn of an ignition key.
The purpose is to make sure students are never left behind on school buses, so after a driver turns his/her vehicle, he/she has 2 minutes to get to the back of the bus and deactivate an alarm — hopefully, scanning for kids along the way.
“They’re going to be checking in-between seats, underneath seats, all of the different places that a little student can hide…” Fuller said. “[It] forces drivers to get out of their seat and walk the bus,” he explained.
If a driver forgets and walks off the bus before deactivating, the horn sounds very loudly eight seconds later.
Officials say the new systems are especially important, considering some unfortunate incidents that have happened over the last few years.
“Students have gotten left on the bus for a little while,” Fuller said.
Officials say they continue developing new ideas and projects like this one to improve safety and education for its 34,000+ students attending 49 schools.
“We care about the students and student safety, and we wanted to make sure that nothing [bad happens],” Fuller explained.
Officials say right now, most bus drivers are already doing bus scans per standard protocol, but they say Child Checkmate will hopefully give concerned parents some peace-of-mind. The alarms, they say, will be fully installed in all the buses by October.
Each alarm system costs about $165 to install.