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New school buses increase safety, efficiency

Orange County will spend $11 million on 108 buses

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County will spend $11 million to buy 108 new school buses with increased safety, school board officials said.

Officials said the buses will have three color-coded seatbelts in every seat, along with cameras capturing every angle of the bus and GPS so headquarters can monitor the drivers.

"There's more computer technology on a school bus today, then there was on the original Apollo missions, to outer space, if you can believe that," said Steve Huckeba, Senior Admin Operations of Orange County Schools.

Ed Lipsey, a bus driver in the county for 18 years, said the new buses will make his job easier.

"Everything is here that I need to have, so I don't have to be taking my eyes off too much of driving down the road," he said. "I noticed they moved the mirror over so I can see straighter down the aisle. Instead of me coming up, I just glancing off to the right, much better than the other buses."

The buses also accommodate car seats. The backs of the seats are higher, thicker and the sides of the buses are lower and stronger.

The buses will be on the road in Fall 2013. The district said the new buses will save $2 million over 10 years in gas efficiency. Each bus costs around $100,000.

Lake, Volusia and Seminole County already have buses with seatbelts.