GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The kids have been back in school for about two months now. How are you doing sharing the roads with their school buses?
Michigan Auto Law’s Brandon Hewitt shared some safety advice for drivers as well as the children on the bus.
Tips for Parents and Drivers:
Stopping for a stopped school bus: Michigan law requires drivers on a non-divided highway or roadway to stop their vehicles at least 20 feet from a stationary school bus that has its lights flashing: “The operator of a vehicle overtaking or meeting a school bus that has stopped and is displaying 2 alternately flashing red lights located at the same level shall bring the vehicle to a full stop not less than 20 feet from the school bus and shall not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or the visual signals are no longer actuated.” (MCL 257.682(1))
Preparing to stop for a school bus: Prepare to stop when a school bus’s overhead lights (near the roof, on both sides of the words “School Bus”) are flashing yellow. (Michigan State Police, “School Buses are Like Traffic Signals” infographic)
Proceed with caution: You may proceed with caution when a school bus’s hazard warning lights (lower on the bus, likely mounted over the front wheel wells) are flashing. (Michigan State Police, “School Buses are Like Traffic Signals” infographic)
Slow down in or near school and residential areas (Michigan State Police, “School Bus Safety” page)
Look for clues-such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds-that indicate children might be in the area (Michigan State Police, “School Bus Safety” page)
Watch for children between parked cars and other objects (Michigan State Police, “School Bus Safety” page)
School-bus related crashes in Michigan have increased: “School bus-related crashes” in Michigan went from 1,007 in 2014 to 1,073 to 2018, according to Michigan Traffic Crash Facts. (MTCF, “Fact Sheets,” “School Buses,” 2014-2018)(*2018 data is the most up-to-date information available)
Tips for students/children:
- Always stay in sight of the bus driver (Michigan State Police, “School Bus Safety” page)
- Don't hurry off the bus; check traffic first (Michigan State Police, “School Bus Safety” page)
- Don't go back to the bus after exiting (Michigan State Police, “School Bus Safety” page)
For more information about Michigan Auto Law, visit www.michiganautolaw.com.
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