School bus pilot program hopes to prevent deaths - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

School bus pilot program hopes to prevent deaths

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JANESVILLE (KWWL) -

A school bus pilot program in eastern Iowa will wrap up this month and could lead to more safety measures on Iowa’s school buses.

The pilot program was started after 11-year-old Justin Bradfield was hit by his school bus and killed in 2011.

Bradfield's friends hope to prevent future accidents by installing sensors and alarms on the buses so the bus drivers know when the kids are near the bus.

Last year, sensors were put on eight Iowa school buses last year -- two each in Janesville, Union, Spencer and Waverly-Shell Rock.

Mary Dove, who use to teach Bradfield, says the trial period will be complete in another month, but so far she is under the impression that the sensors are working well.

If this trial goes well, the Smile BIG Foundation, named in Bradfield’s honor, will ask the Janesville Consolidated School District to install these sensors on all of the Janesville buses.

The Smile BIG Foundation has raised more than $30,000 for the cause and will cover the cost of the sensors in Janesville.

The foundation is still raising money for other safety projects.

On Saturday, supporters will run in the 2nd annual Smile BIG 5K. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. at the Janesville CSD.

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