Western New Jersey

Deadly school bus crash in New Jersey prompts calls for new vehicle technology

WASHINGTON - Federal accident investigators are recommending the government set performance standards for new safety technology that allows cars and trucks to talk to each other and then require the technology be installed in all new vehicles.

The National Transportation Safety Board made the recommendation Tuesday in response to fatal school bus accidents at intersections in New Jersey and Florida last year.

Vehicles equipped with the technology can continuously communicate over wireless networks, exchanging information on location, direction and speed 10 times a second.

A computer analyzes the information and issues danger warnings to drivers, often before they can see the other vehicle.

NTSB officials said the technology holds great promise to reduce deaths and injuries caused by crashes at intersections.

The accident in Chesterfield Twp., N.J., involved a dump truck that slammed into the back left side of a school bus, spinning the bus around until it hit a traffic signal pole.

An 11-year-old girl was killed and five other students, including the girl's two sisters, were seriously injured.

The crash in Port St. Lucie, Fla., involved a semi tractor-trailer truck that hit a school bus, killing one student and seriously injuring four others.

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