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These are Michigan school bus laws and safety tips ahead of kids going back to school

Posted at 6:57 AM, Aug 17, 2022

(WXYZ) — As students prepare to go back to school and take the bus, we want to remind you of the school bus safety and two new school bus laws that went into effect in Michigan last year.

In October 2021, two new laws went into effect to help keep children safe on the school bus.

The first makes it easier to ticket drivers who blow through the school bus' extended stop arm. Previously, police had to actually witness a car blow through a bus stop arm sign in order to give a ticket.

Under the law, drivers can be ticketed using exterior cameras on buses. Some schools already have the cameras, while others are now looking into the investment because of the new law.

Another law states that people cannot walk onto a school bus without permission. There are no trespassing signs on the door of the bus.

According to the Michigan Association of Pupil Transportation, these two laws were three years in the making.

If a driver is caught blowing a stop sign, or if a person steps onto a bus without permission, both offenses carry a fine of up to $500.

School bus safety is also at the top of mind. The State of Michigan has tips for drivers to keep children and drivers safe around school buses.

School bus safety tips for drivers:

  • Prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing
  • Stop at least 20 feet away from buses when red lights are flashing, unless driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway
  • Slow down in or near school and residential areas
  • Look for clues-such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds-that indicate children might be in the area
  • Watch for children between parked cars and other objects

School buses are like traffic signals:

  • When overhead lights are flashing yellow: Prepare to stop
  • When overhead lights are flashing red: Stop
  • When hazard warning lights are flashing: Proceed with caution

School bus safety tips for students:

  • Always stay in sight of the bus driver
  • Don't hurry off the bus; check traffic first
  • Don't go back to the bus after exiting