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December 18, 2012  |   Comments (1)   |   Post a comment

State school bus stop laws compiled

By Thomas McMahon

A new research document sheds light on the differences in states' regulations on stopping for stopped school buses.Photo by Bob Markwardt

A new research document sheds light on the differences in states' regulations on stopping for stopped school buses.
Photo by Bob Markwardt

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A new research document sheds light on the differences in school bus stop laws from state to state.

Patrick Willi, director of School Training Solutions, told SBF that the idea for the project came to him at the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS) conference in Memphis, Tenn., in October.

During a conference session on the latest national stop-arm running count, which found more than 88,000 violations in a day, it was noted that some violations are a result of motorists not knowing the law.

"Before that discussion, it had never dawned on me that many people don't know that they're supposed to stop," Willi said.

Also noted during the NASDPTS session was that the association didn't have a list of all of the different state regulations on stopping for school buses.

"When I got back from Memphis, our team started researching and compiling the existing laws," Willi said.

The team at School Training Solutions, which provides online training programs for school bus drivers and other district employees, found the official driver manual for each state. The portions on when and where to stop for stopped school buses were compiled into a document that gives an insightful overview of the requirements across the nation.

"I knew the laws varied, but I didn't know they varied that much," Willi said.

School Training Solutions submitted the document to NASDPTS, which disseminated it to members. The free PDF can be downloaded here.

"I wanted to be able to give NASDPTS something that they could use to illustrate what one of the underlying issues could be," Willi said. "I'd also love to see people use it to refresh themselves on when they should be stopping."

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This is a fine example of why the school bus stop arm laws need to be federally uniformed for ALL States to use the same basic understanding of stopping for school buses loading and unloading passengers. ALL States would then be on the same page in educating motorist vehicle operation on road ways. What would be wrong with this approach?

Dan Luttrell    |    Dec 19, 2012 03:32 PM

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