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Alarm System Installed On Whittier School Buses In Wake Of Student's Death

WHITTIER ( —The recent death of a 19-year-old special-needs student, who was found dead on a school bus in Whittier, prompted the city to install an automated alarm system on every school bus in hopes of preventing future deaths.

The alarm activates as soon as the driver shuts off the engine. Then the driver must then walk to the back of the bus and push a red button. If not, the alarm will go off within a few seconds. The idea is by walking through the bus, the driver can make sure no students are left behind.

Paul Lee, diagnosed with autism, was found dead on a school bus in an extremely hot afternoon on September 11th. This past Tuesday would have been his 20th birthday.

In addition, the new rules will also require two bus drivers to inspect each other's bus before taking it out of service at the end of every school day.

A statewide campaign has been launched to push for legislation that will require an alarm system on every school bus throughout California, according to Pupil Transportation Co-Op spokesman Tom DeLapp. He said the proposed new law will be named after Lee.

"We'll all, in our organization, use this as a teachable moment on the importance of being vigilant and being prepared and being observant in what we do," DeLapp said. "We're hoping some good can come from this tragic incident."

Whittier Police are still investigating Lee's death. The exact cause of his death is still unknown.

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