Los Angeles, California - The Minimize Danger Zone Shield (MDZ Shield) is an affordable solution for eliminating the danger zone surrounding the rear dual wheels of school buses in the US.
This "danger zone" is the area extending 10 ft (3m) to the front, rear, and side of school buses, where children are at most risk of being hit by passing vehicles -- or even being run over by their own bus.
There have been over 55 child fatalities (not including serious or catastrophic injury) due to the right rear danger zone over the past 10 years, an area in which the US Department of Transportation notes the highest number of fatalities.
Founder of Public Transportation Safety International Corp. (PTS) Mark Barron is introducing the MDZ Shield -- an inexpensive, one-piece polyurethane guard. This device acts as a safety shield in front of the dual rear wheels, and is easily and quickly mounted to the side panel of the bus, Barron says.
Barron explains that most school buses have a rocker panel about 2 ft from the ground, so a device PTS makes for transit buses would be costly, due to the heavy mounting brackets.
"Yet the risk of exposure on a school bus is worse because of its height. I was consumed with guilt for not figuring this out earlier," said Barron, inventor of the device. "This is finally a solution where children's lives can be saved at minimal cost."
The design of Barron's device, using a polyurethane system from BASF, lessens both material and labour costs, while making it easily visible for a bus operator's inspection.
PTS already sells the S-1 GARD Dangerzone Deflector, a physical barrier covering the right rear tyres, to the mass transit industry.