ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW) — School buses in Robeson County are getting new radios to help improve student safety, the district said.

The Public Schools of Robeson County is paying for the project with money from a more than $1 million grant from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Center for Safer Schools.

Rob Guzman, the district’s transportation director, said the project is about half finished. During the past few months, new radio antennas were installed on all of the district’s yellow school buses and activity buses.

“This project will increase the communication between bus drivers and school officials, especially during emergency situations where cell phone coverage is not as strong within the county,” Guzman said.

Radios will be installed in the coming months, he said.

“The Transportation Department is very excited with the progression of this project as student safety is enhanced by the purchasing of this equipment, Guzman said. “The department will be able to instantaneously communicate with bus drivers during emergency situations and provide updated information to first responders and school administrators.”

Superintendent Freddie Williamson said the district is committed to providing safe spaces for students to learn and thrive on buses and in classrooms.

“The safety of our students and staff members is our top priority,” Williamson said. “The Public Schools of Robeson County is working to enhance the safety of our school buildings and buses through this safety grant. This funding allows us to add bus radios and uniform keyed entry systems at all PSRC facilities so that first responders will be able to easily access those buildings if an emergency situation occurs.”