New safety signs aim to decrease students hit at bus stops

MOORHEAD, M.N. (KVLY) A spike in tragic accidents with kids at the bus stop has prompted school districts around the country to look into increasing their safety measures.

Just this week an incident came out of Bemidji, Minn., when four cars were seen on video speeding past a stopped school bus with its stop arm out.

And now a video showing flashier and brighter bus stop signs has gone viral with people from all over demanding the devices be put on every school bus.

"I actually ran a stop sign in my neighborhood where my kids live and when I did that there was no way I could ever live with myself had I ran some little kid over," Danny Ringer, the inventor of the Safely Cross device said.

An oversight that happened almost three years ago, prompted Ringer to build a device to help children stay safe when getting on and off their school bus.

"The bus driver started honking the horn and shaking a finger at me. And when I looked back, the sign was out! And I thought, 'There needs to be something so that doesn't happen," Ringer said.

"I have never seen anything like that before. Generally, there are just stop signs close to the bus. And the extension arm that comes out is definitely an advantage," Mike Steffen, Transportation Director for Moorhead Public Schools said.

Most buses just have a stop sign that swing out with blinking lights when a it makes a stop. Whereas Ringer's device has two long stop arms paired with strobe lights, creating a dramatic scene.

"I think that would definitely help out in the rural because you're stopping along a road that has higher speeds and you need as much notification as you can," Steffen said.

But that dramatic scene is attention that is much needed in the eyes of transportation directors around the country.

"Sometimes these vehicles get behind the buses and they don't see the stop sign until they've already made a move to come around," Steffen said.

Steffen adds the signs would also come in handy in the rain, snow and fog. He also says it's something he'd think to incorporate in the future.

"I think something that's a little more intense, it gets our attention, it gets everyone's attention and that's what we need," Steffen said.

Ringer says a price point isn't finalized yet, as he's still working on prototypes. But as the demand for his product grows more and more, Ringer hopes his devices can roll out soon.

"I'd like to see these on every school bus in the united states, if not the world. I think it's gonna make the children safer and that's the whole reason I did it. There's nothing that's 100 percent full-proof, but if we can reduce the amount of accidents by 70 or 80 percent I think that's a good start," Ringer said.

Valley Bus, which provides transportation for both Fargo and West Fargo schools also said that the safely cross device would be something they would consider adding to their school buses.

For more information on the Safely Cross stop arms, you can email or call them at 386-243-3128.