CULLMAN, AL (WBRC) - New safety technology is now onboard Cullman County School buses.
Fifteen of the district’s international buses now have the ability to put on the brakes automatically to avoid accidents. IC Bus is now making the collision mitigation technology standard on all new school buses.
Transportation Director Jeff Harper tells us that Cullman County has the safest buses in the state right now.
"It will actually take over the bus and help to keep you from having an accident or hitting a metal object such as a car or motorcycle or truck,” said Jeff Harper, Transportation Director of Cullman County Schools.
The new buses also have electronic stability control, which helps avoid sliding on wet or icy roads. Harper saw the technology first hand recently a test facility in Ohio. He was skeptical at first.
"This ain’t going to happen. But it did. It was amazing. They watered the course down and turned the system off and bus got out of control in a turn. They turned the system back on and now the system took over and applied alternate braking on different four wheels and we went through that course. It didn’t even slide,” Harper said.
Harper says school buses are safe. He’s hoping this advanced technology will make them safer.
"It actually will help tremendously in keeping our students safe when we’re loading and unloading and driving on our roads,” Harper said.
We're told the technology even helped a delivery driver avoid an accident as she drove one of the buses from Oklahoma to Alabama.
The buses are also equipped with new cameras and an additional stop arm to keep an eye on people who don't stop.
Other school systems who order from IC Bus will be getting this technology as they update their fleet.