Woodstock Safety Mirror Company donated $25,000 this month to the New York Association for Pupil Transportation's Cyr Foundation and funding for 25 scholarships to the association's 2011 conference later this year.
Woodstock Safety Mirror Company is an endeavor started by Gloria Buley, a former bus driver for the Onteora Central School District, who holds a patent on a mirror system for a third stop arm at the rear of the school bus that aims to eliminate the danger zone on the right side of the vehicle and especially at the rear wheels.
Buley was featured in the February 2007 edition of School Transportation News magazine. She showed a prototype of concept at the 2003 NAPT conference in Salt Lake City. That led to a meeting with the New York State Department of Transportation, which two years later verified that the system did not violate the New York State Safety Compliance test. In 2006, NHTSA confirmed the mirror system complied with FMVSS 111, as long as it doesn't interfere with other mirrors, and FMVSS 131, as long as the system would be used only when the school bus is stopped.
STN is tracking down more information on the development of the product.
Meanwhile, the Atlantic magazine picked up on her story this week. It mentions she's trying to secure additional capital to begin marketing her product. Judging by her recent donation, things are going well.
NYAPT formed the non-profit Cyr Foundation in 2006 to complement and support the association's school bus advocacy and training efforts. The Cyr Foundation is named after Frank Cyr, a teacher known as "the father of the yellow school bus" after he helped organize the first national school bus standards conference at Columbia University in New York in April of 1939. It led to national school bus yellow, the first school bus construction standards in the United States and to the national event now known as the National Congress on School Transportation that is held every five years, most recently in May of 2010.
Cyr passed away in 1995 in Stamford, N.Y., at the age of 95.
Meanwhile, the 25 scholarships donated by Woodstock Safety Mirror Company for this year's NYAPT conference in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., members will pay the $300 registration fee for the conference and two nights' lodging. Applications are due by May 1.