Some Michigan school districts are making use of hazard-light school bus stops, which can keep traffic flowing in cases where children don’t cross the street.
Unlike red-light stops, hazard-light stops don’t require other motorists to stop. Michigan law allows the hazard-light stops when these conditions are met:
1. Pupils must not be required to cross the roadway.
2. The school administrator or board-approved contractor must approve the use of hazard lights for that bus stop.
3. Where the posted speed limit is 45 mph or less, the bus must be pulled to the far right side of the roadway allowing traffic to flow. Where the posted speed limit is over 45 mph, the bus must be pulled off the roadway or far enough to the right to leave normal traffic flow unobstructed.
For more details, see pgs. 17 and 18 of this Michigan Department of Education document.
A Daily News article reports that several school districts in Montcalm County have implemented hazard-light stops.
“In general, most districts do hazard light stops on the highways and busy roads where they can get off the roadway and the children do not need to cross the street,” Dee Evans, transportation director for the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District, told the news source. “Hazard light stops are done to help prevent the backup of traffic due to the length of time needed at a bus stop.”
While some school transportation officials say that the hazard-light stops can increase safety in the right circumstances, they also note that some motorists get confused and still stop for the bus, which can cause problems with others who aren't expecting to stop.
To read the full Daily News article, click here.