Blue Bird continues its tradition of innovation in standard safety features for school buses

MACON, Ga - Blue Bird Corporation, North America’s leading school bus manufacturer, has announced that their school buses will come with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) on all buses equipped with air brakes, as well as backup camera systems as standard equipment on all new vehicles.

Continuing a tradition of being first to market with safety and environmental innovations, Blue Bird introduced ESC to customers in 2015 – a first for the industry at the time. Electronic stability control technology has been a part of passenger vehicles for many years with incredible results in collision mitigation. Using a group of sensors, the ESC system is notified when a potential situation may occur, and activates the brakes in a sequence to reduce the chances of losing control of the bus. In larger medium- and heavy-duty truck applications, ESC serves as a way to also prevent rollover incidents, and works well to prevent incidents on icy, wet, sandy and muddy roads – all conditions that school bus drivers encounter. The system currently works with buses equipped with air brakes, and ESC is supplied by Bendix, an industry leader in brakes and braking systems.

"We are always looking to be one step ahead in regards to safety," said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer at Blue Bird Corporation. "We offered ESC to customers three years before anyone else, because we knew then that this safety feature would be necessary in the near future. It was an easy decision to provide this to customers as a standard feature."

While ESC enhances safety, it does not take responsibility away from the driver: rather, the system acts as one more way to give the driver better control in situations where slides and skids are more likely to occur.

In addition to Electronic Stability Control, Blue Bird has also added a rear backup camera as a standard feature on all of their school buses going forward. Backup camera systems are considered an essential safety feature on modern-day vehicles. Blue Bird’s backup camera system utilizes a single camera located at the back of the vehicle. This camera shows a 150-degree field of vision image of the rear of the bus to the driver through a 7" LCD color monitor displayed in the rearview mirror. The image shows when the bus is in reverse, and features night vision capability. Blue Bird is also working on developing a dash-mounted monitor, which will be available soon.

"Beyond the obvious safety aspects of a backup camera system, many new bus drivers are used to having backup cameras in their personal vehicles. We also want to tailor our buses to give drivers confidence while driving," said Terry. "Providing additional safety features on buses not only helps keep our children safe, it also gives drivers greater confidence while operating the bus. Safety for your students, peace-of-mind for your drivers. That’s what drives Blue Bird as we continue to innovate and release new features on our buses."

For all new buses built by Blue Bird in 2019, electronic stability control and backup camera systems will be standard equipment. For more information, visit www.blue-bird.com.

About Blue Bird Corporation: Celebrating its 90th year in business, Blue Bird (NASDAQ: BLBD) is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered, electric and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete line of buses, visit www.blue-bird.com.