The new “Predictive Stop Arm” technology was designed by Seon Designs and the MEI is the first educational facility in the province to use it. (Photo courtesy of MEI.)

Canada’s first school bus to warn students of oncoming cars unveiled in Abbotsford

Technology protected multiple students on its very first day in use in Abbotsford

A new school bus that automatically warns students walking in the path of oncoming vehicles has been unveiled at the Mennonite Educational Institute – the first of its kind in Canada.

“I’m thankful for a team of leaders that are absolutely committed to protecting our children as they make their way to and from school,” said Vijay Manuel, MEI head of schools.

The new technology has been dubbed the “Predictive Stop Arm” and was developed by Seon Designs.

The bus will alert students of drivers failing to stop for its flashing red lights indicating an adjacent crosswalk is in use.

If the bus senses a vehicle passing it will notify students by sounding a loud “Stop! Do not cross” warning over its speakers.

The upgrade was attractive for the private school because it was the only technology on the market that preemptively stopped a tragedy before it occurred, according to Guy Wilton, manager of transportation at MEI.

“It’s a fantastic technology. I can see, in the not-too-distant future, more districts pick up on this for the same reasons that we did.”

Manuel said the new technology is worth the investment of $5,000 per bus and the system has already potentially kept MEI students safe from harm.

“On its very first day of operation PSA protected children in two separate incidents.”

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