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Kanawha school bus extensions proving effective

Charleston Gazette-Mail photo by Tom Hindman A pilot program in Cabell, Greenbrier and Kanawha counties will add 6-foot-long extensions to existing bus stop signs. The signs will fold out into the other lane of traffic as a deterrent to drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses.
Charleston Gazette-Mail file photo by Tom Hindman

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Although they’ve only been on 10 school buses in Kanawha County since the academic year began last month, drivers already have struck the new 6-foot-long bus-stop arm extensions six times, the school district’s executive transportation director says.

However, Brette Fraley said his drivers have reported that the extensions are effective, reducing illegal passes of stopped buses by 45 percent to 50 percent over last school year. He plans to buy the 10 arms that Lewisville, North Carolina-based Bus Safety Solutions gave Kanawha for a test run.

The company also provided 10 arm extensions each to Cabell and Greenbrier counties. West Virginia Department of Education spokeswoman Kristin Anderson said the department expects to release results of the pilot study next week.

In the spring, as part of a regular report to the department, Kanawha County recorded 90 illegal passes on a single day tested, Cabell reported 35 and Greenbrier reported eight.

Anderson said the department, which must approve bus specifications across the state, already has OK’d allowing the school districts in the pilot program to buy the extensions they’ve been using. She said that, because it’s seeing favorable results, the department plans to allow all districts to decide whether to purchase and install the extensions…

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