BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A West Michigan company offering technology to improve school bus safety says it is finding a disconnect between a commitment to student safety and the funding to support it.
PRO-VISION Video Systems launched its stop-arm camera in May 2019. The hope is that prevalence of the technology will ultimately change driver behavior. Last month, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation approved buying the product to capture video evidence of drivers passing stopped school buses.
News 8 checked in with the company after a hit-and-run crash injured a teen waiting for his bus north of Muskegon Tuesday morning, brought focus to careless drivers putting students in danger.
“If you implement nothing, behaviors don’t change,” PRO-VISION director of sales and service Andrew Beach told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday. “It’s a bad thing if it comes down to a child being struck by a car. It should never get to that point. … I’d much rather have a bunch of buzz about people shelling out a lot of dollars to correct their behavior than hear about an accident that involved a child.”
Beach said the company has found districts want to upgrade their technology, but don’t always have access to the money necessary to outfit an entire fleet of school buses.
“We’ve put together financing and lease options for districts that are a little tighter on funds. That allows you to pay dollars a month through the course of a few years, so you can cover the need now knowing that the funding should be there for years to come,” Beach explained.
PRO-VISION found schools often rely on grants and mileages in order to upgrade technologies rather than public funds covering the bills.
PRO-VISION said Haslett Public Schools in Ingham County is among the districts that have implemented the technology.