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January 22, 2013  |   Comments (9)   |   Post a comment

How hazard lights can be used for Mich. bus stops

By Thomas McMahon


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.

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Read more about: Michigan, school bus stops

People,there is NO CONFUSION. WAKE UP and Stop being complete imbeciles(Bumbling Idiots). How long have we all been STOPING AT RED LIGHTS. PROCEEDING WITH CAUTION AT YELLOW LIGHTS. If you can not get this straight please flush your keys down the toilet NOW. Its not rocket science. This is not suggesting stop sign and crossing arm become optional (But I am up for that).LOL. God forbid one need to be aware while they are driving.

Bruce Jarman    |    Oct 17, 2013 05:00 AM

This has been done in Michigan for many many years, and California used to do this for all curbside stops until a few years ago. We must be pretty high and mighty if we think it is truly necessary to stop all of a 5 lane highway for a single high schooler who does not cross. These stops are actually most useful because, if you can get off of the road, you can make a stop where a red light stop is flat out prohibited for visibility reasons. I had a number of those along my route, where instead of making an illegal red light stop, putting the bus and others in danger, I could pull well off the road (into the apron of an intersecting one) and let the kids off with no interferences. To address the issue of kids darting out into the road and the bus causing a blind spot, you can assess the age appropriateness of that sort of stop. If it was a place where I was permitted to use red lights, I would only use hazards for high schoolers.

Michael    |    Jan 24, 2013 04:10 PM

Correction: Ought to have said that I agree with Jim and Don's posts.

jkraemer    |    Jan 23, 2013 05:46 PM

I agree with Jim's post, although I disagree that most motorists somehow miss the bus safety lights. The bus remains a huge hazard and blind spot when stopped in the road not crossing children. Love the decision and support the activity - an effective method to avoid unnecessarily delaying motorists. Share the road includes training drivers, training children, and parent supervision insuring all goes as planed, each and every time. Stopping out of the flow of traffic to drop students when possible can save the most lives.

jkraemer    |    Jan 23, 2013 05:43 PM

I read several of the comments and don't understand why people are so upset. I believe we need to educate the general public via radio, TV, and other news media. Face it How often do you see commercials regarding chool bus safety. It won't solve the problem, but it may help. It is amazing how many cars just do not see that big yellow bus with the flashing lights......

Don    |    Jan 23, 2013 08:16 AM

Have you ever had a bus stopped on the side of the road with its hazard lights on because of a mechanical issue or a student issue on the bus? Probably. So motorists already have to deal with an occasional bus pulled over for reasons unknown to them with hazard lights on. There are certain places where you may have to make a bus stop but it is a dangerous area to make that stop. If there is a full shoulder where the bus can safely get off to the side this can sometimes be a safer option. Maybe this doesn't happen in your area but believe me there are places where this can make sense. But on a very limited and controlled basis.

Jim    |    Jan 23, 2013 07:38 AM

Stupid beyond any reasoning. How much time is involved for stopping for a school bus to load or un load. How do drivers know hey its ok to pass yet we can not do it over there. Dumb Dumb dumb.

mdickson    |    Jan 23, 2013 06:55 AM

That is the stupidest thing ever! Just as it says in the article, you are confusing motorists! The next thing thats going to happen is someones going to run a full 8 way warning stop and say, well everyone else passed the bus at the last stop! All for the sake of saving a few minutes! Are we really that iggnorant, that we want to confuse drivers, who are already in "I got to go mode"???? And put our children in DANGER! Get your azz up 10 minutes earlier, leave the house 5 minutes earlier. But don't put our / your children in danger just to save 2 minutes. Geez has everyone lost thier minds and good sense??? As a Transportation Director who takes care of 800 kids I ask you to get your head out of your AZZ, and stop the stupidity before one our kids gets hurt or killed. GEEZ! God help us all!

Jack    |    Jan 23, 2013 06:36 AM

In response to the Michigan ruling of allowing use of hazard lights in place of eightway warning light absurd and disappointing....the motoring public is already confused enough about what to do at school bus stops and now more confusion has been willfilly offered into the equation. In our big rush to get everwhere via the highways,what will be thought of next ? Will we suggest police , ambulance and fire personnel move off of the higway to attend to emergencies so we can merrily speed on our way ? Will the eighway system , stop sign and crossing arm become optional as we search for more ways to save time and cut costs ? Having been in the school bus industry for over forty years , I'm afraid of the next "off of the wall idea" and how it might negatively affect the most safest mode of ground transportation , that being the school bus. Yours for student safety.

Larry R. Markel    |    Jan 23, 2013 05:50 AM

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