SANDY — When school starts back up in a couple of weeks, Canyons School District students who ride the bus will have a potentially life-saving tool onboard with them.
It's a new alarm system aimed at reminding drivers to make sure all children are off the bus before leaving.
Now, when drivers are done with their route and try to turn off the bus's engine, a loud horn will sound requiring them to walk to the back of the bus to turn it off — and in turn, forcing them to check all seats on the way.
"It's a very short walk but I think, you know, when you do that job — you drive bus day after day — you know, sometimes ... you can forget," said Kevin Ray, risk management coordinator for the Canyons School District.
The school district installed the devices this summer after parents reported their children had been forgotten on the buses this past school year.
"We heard their concerns. We responded to their concerns," said district spokesman Jeff Haney.
Ray said by the start of the school year, all 45 of the district's special needs buses will be equipped with the system. And by Thanksgiving, the rest of the 177 buses will be updated, giving the nearly 160 drivers in the school district a new tool to work with.
"They cannot leave the bus, they cannot leave the area; that horn's gonna be a constant reminder that 'Hey, I've gotta go back, I've gotta check the bus,' Ray said. had the system already installed. That number will, of course, continue to grow as we get closer to the first day of school later this month.
The new alarm system came with a $30,000 price tag for the school district, or $165 per bus.