No Child Left on Board

By: Beth Shayne
By: Beth Shayne

"I take my job seriously," explains Mary Curry. She's been driving a school bus in Lansing for 31 years.

"It's happened here a few times," she says, of the national problem, kids left on their buses.

It happened in Holland this fall. A four-year-old special needs student was discovered alone on her bus.

Eleven of Lansing's 80 rigs now have a device called a child reminder. If the bus has stopped to pick up kids, it's automatically activated. When the driver turns the bus off, they have 60 seconds to open the back door, or an alarm is sounded.

"You don't not do it," Curry says.

Dean Transportation is the largest private bussing company in Michigan. They serve nearly all the area's special needs schools, so their kids are at a greater risk. Dean's outfitting every one of their 650 buses.

"It's a cost, a very important cost, because it can only add to the safety of all our passengers," explains Kellie Dean.

Each set up runs them about $175. They've worked with the company to create one special to Dean. It's similar to Lansing's, except it activates once a driver tries to leave the bus.


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