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overbyja
Senior Member

USA
123 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2011 :  10:43:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, it's almost official. After being the last state in the US to make the switch to amber/red 8-ways, it looks like we finally have some sort of a date in mind for the switch. Found this on the Wisconsin School Bus Association site:

Proposed Changes To The Eight Light System

SECTION 10. 347.25 (2) of the statutes is amended to read:

347.25 (2) No person may operate a school bus which is painted as provided in
s. 347.44 unless it is equipped with a 360-degree flashing white strobe light having a
flashrate of 60 to 120 per minute and either flashing red warning lights or lights or flashing red amber warning lights as required below:

(a) A school bus with a body manufactured on or after January 1, 2005 shall utilize a red and amber eight light warning system after August 31, 2012.

(b) A school bus body manufactured on or after January 1, 2002 through December 31,
2004 shall utilize a red and amber eight light warning system after August 31, 2015, but
may begin use, if equipped, after August 31, 2012.

(c) A school bus with a body manufactured prior to January 1, 2002 will be
grandfathered to operate a four light red warning system indefinitely but may begin use,
if equipped, after August 31, 2012.

The secretary shall prescribe rules for the type, installation, operation and light output
brilliance of the lights required under this subsection. No vehicle may be equipped with
the warning and strobe lights required under this subsection unless it also is painted as
provided in s. 347.44.

http://www.wi-sba.org/articles.htm

Edited by - overbyja on 12/29/2011 10:44:29 PM

Tatum
Top Member

United States
606 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2011 :  02:01:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm glad to see Wisconsin move forward with this!
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2011 :  06:37:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Sad to see them go! But it will make manufacturing easier I'm sure. Truly, from the back, why do you even need ambers? For as many people that speed up and unsafely pass my bus when I put on the ambers, I think the rear reds should flash for the full 200 feet before the stop (and at the stop) to prohibit passing from behind. Just like it used to be with 4 ways. There is no reason that all traffic behind the bus cannot slow down with the bus to the bus stop...your speed differential between surrounding traffic should not be that great so as to prohibit safe stopping with the bus.

From the front, I can see the need for ambers to reduce the panic of oncoming drivers. But even then, reds only do just fine if you spot the kids on your approach, or use your brain to detect the speed of the bus.

Mike's Bus Yard - http://buses.zwebpages.com - Since 1999
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overbyja
Senior Member

USA
123 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2011 :  11:34:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In our case, all the buses we have that are 2005-newer are already set up with all red 8 ways and it will be as simple as changing out the lenses. As far as part b goes, the current set up has the 4 ways positioned as far to the outside edge as possible, so a hole would need to be made to install an amber light and it should line up correctly. Some of our Birds from the 02-03 period have the reds positioned where the ambers should be so the new hole would be on the outside edge. These units are already pre-wired for 8 ways. I believe that is why they're allowing extra time to do so. Now if WI would require an exterior light monitor, we'd be in business (and it could distract the kids too!)

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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2012 :  07:38:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Hey, does this law replace the current one or amend it? I would guess it replaces it, and if so, I notice it leaves no allowance for the wig wags. Does that mean those will be disconnected? If so, darn! I will hate to see those go; they are unique. There's no reason they could not be compatible with 8 ways. I like the idea of there being a ton more lights switched on when the reds turn on.

Mike's Bus Yard - http://buses.zwebpages.com - Since 1999
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overbyja
Senior Member

USA
123 Posts

Posted - 01/01/2012 :  8:04:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It looks to be an amendment. Even if it were a replacement, the secondary wig-wag lights would more than likely stay. I haven't seen them on anything newer than a 2001 bus anyways, and those are grandfathered in to keep the 4-ways.

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Fastback
Top Member

971 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2012 :  06:25:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Ford 85-16

Sad to see them go! But it will make manufacturing easier I'm sure. Truly, from the back, why do you even need ambers? For as many people that speed up and unsafely pass my bus when I put on the ambers, I think the rear reds should flash for the full 200 feet before the stop (and at the stop) to prohibit passing from behind. Just like it used to be with 4 ways. There is no reason that all traffic behind the bus cannot slow down with the bus to the bus stop...your speed differential between surrounding traffic should not be that great so as to prohibit safe stopping with the bus.

From the front, I can see the need for ambers to reduce the panic of oncoming drivers. But even then, reds only do just fine if you spot the kids on your approach, or use your brain to detect the speed of the bus.




In Iowa it is illegal to pass/overtake a school bus from the rear with its amber flashers on.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback

Edited by - Fastback on 01/02/2012 06:26:42 AM
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RichBusman
Advanced Member

451 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2012 :  5:11:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think it is ridiculous that older buses will not be required to start using ambers as well on August 31st, 2012. Inconsistencies will only confuse motorists even more. Should have required ALL buses to switch over to ambers.

Not crazy about the constant-on roof strobe light either. Should either be with kids on or in poor weather conditions.
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2012 :  5:39:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

In Iowa it is illegal to pass/overtake a school bus from the rear with its amber flashers on.


Well this is good. But then why do they bother including the amber lights? From the back red and amber have the same meaning, but from the front they do not?

In my opinion, red should "mean do not pass," and amber should mean "get ready to stop". From the front you sort of need the amber phase since the speed differential is so great, but from the back the message of "do not pass" is instananeously acheivable, and only one color should be needed.

Mike's Bus Yard - http://buses.zwebpages.com - Since 1999
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2012 :  4:19:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=ye1btFN6XiY

Found some fun footage of the Wisconsin wig-wags. This is the first footage where the whole front or back of the bus has been visible with these flashing.

Mike's Bus Yard - http://buses.zwebpages.com - Since 1999
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RichBusman
Advanced Member

451 Posts

Posted - 01/07/2012 :  7:23:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Ford 85-16

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=ye1btFN6XiY

Found some fun footage of the Wisconsin wig-wags. This is the first footage where the whole front or back of the bus has been visible with these flashing.



Very cool, never have seen this before. When you said wig wags, I thought you were talking about the flashing headlight option.

That's a beautiful looking bus too.
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TylerB
Active Member

19 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2012 :  2:02:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit TylerB's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think this is a great step forward for us... even though ambers are just confusing, we need a national consistency in the buses. It will be a visual adjustment, but i will get used to it eventually
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Tatum
Top Member

United States
606 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2012 :  4:13:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ambers aren't confusing to the rest of the nation that uses them.
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2012 :  4:38:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Tatum

Ambers aren't confusing to the rest of the nation that uses them.


Not exactly confusing, but it leaves ambiguity when (except in Iowa) people are legally allowed to zip around the bus as it is approaching a stop. I think that hole in most bus stop laws needs to be shored up. Also, if a state has passive bus stops that use hazard lights only, then it is confusing because there are then two sets of yellow lights you have to know what to do for.

Truly though, anyone who cannot figure out what to do when a bus flashing four ways is approaching should probably not be driving. I will look forward to seeing what messages Wisconsin's media puts out regarding the change in the law...it will be an opportunity to see what about an 8 light system legislators are promoting. This change is not something we have witnessed for quite some time.
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overbyja
Senior Member

USA
123 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2012 :  7:22:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The funny thing about confusion is that lately just as many motorists will stop when I have just HAZARDS flashing as for my WARNING LIGHTS!!

quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Ford 85-16

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=ye1btFN6XiY

Found some fun footage of the Wisconsin wig-wags. This is the first footage where the whole front or back of the bus has been visible with these flashing.



I do have a video of my bus I took earlier this year of the wig-wag warning system in front and back. Let me know if you want me to post it.

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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 01/08/2012 :  8:43:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
That would be great! I am nearby Wisconsin but never see the buses stopping...they're always driving. Go figure.

In my earlier post I typed "first footage." Meant to say "first footage I have found..."
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
3318 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2012 :  02:13:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay, I want that wig-wag system NOW! Neat light show, reminds me of the old light monitors.
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overbyja
Senior Member

USA
123 Posts

Posted - 01/09/2012 :  6:40:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's the link to that video: http://youtu.be/AKwajjLHc_A

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Fastback
Top Member

971 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2012 :  3:02:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Ford 85-16

quote:
Originally posted by Fastback

In Iowa it is illegal to pass/overtake a school bus from the rear with its amber flashers on.


Well this is good. But then why do they bother including the amber lights? From the back red and amber have the same meaning, but from the front they do not?

In my opinion, red should "mean do not pass," and amber should mean "get ready to stop". From the front you sort of need the amber phase since the speed differential is so great, but from the back the message of "do not pass" is instananeously acheivable, and only one color should be needed.



Iowa buses also have the wording "UNLAWFUL TO PASS WHEN LIGHTS FLASH" on rear of bus.

Why yes, the ORIGinal CHARGER is a Fastback
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2012 :  6:11:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
overbyja, did it not happen? I have looked at Wisconsin news station back-to-school segments and the buses still have four ways. (woo hoo )

Mike's Bus Yard - http://buses.zwebpages.com - Since 1999
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spin76
Active Member

26 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2012 :  7:21:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit spin76's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I think the old 4 way flashers make more sense personally. People tend to pass or speed up on yellow flashers. With red flashers, even with the bus moving, people, I would think would be more apt to stop. The tricky part is where to stop when approaching a bus from the opposite direction, but I have this issue with 8-ways too so I stop far enough away and then creep up after the reds are activated
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overbyja
Senior Member

USA
123 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2012 :  9:47:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomas Ford 85-16

overbyja, did it not happen? I have looked at Wisconsin news station back-to-school segments and the buses still have four ways. (woo hoo )



I guess we are STILL waiting on lawmakers to make their final say on this. Lots of political drama in WI this year, as I'm sure most have heard about. The WI School Bus Association website first said they were going to vote early spring 2012, now it just says "sometime in 2012". I really don't know what's going on. Perhaps it has fallen to the back burner for yet another school year...

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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2014 :  7:34:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
It may have finally happened. Darn!
http://www.wrcitytimes.com/?p=1628
At least I am always within an hour of Ontario...can still see four light buses there.

Mike's Bus Yard - http://buses.zwebpages.com - Since 1999
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4165 Posts

Posted - 02/08/2014 :  2:49:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
This article makes it more clear that there is no 8-way requirement, but ambers are now allowed, making out of state purchases more seamless. The STN article, however, makes it sound like people would avoid buying out of state buses because of the retrofit required. I sort of doubt that because Wisconsin has been allowing 8 way reds. It will be interesting to see what operator's preferences are once a mix is on the roads.

http://www.stnonline.com/home/latest-news/5869-wisconsin-law-changes-school-bus-lighting-specs-clarifies-use-of-lights-at-stops

Mike's Bus Yard - http://buses.zwebpages.com - Since 1999
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Cal Mc
Advanced Member

245 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2014 :  3:20:55 PM  Show Profile  Visit Cal Mc's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Alberta change in legislation required us to retrofit all out older buses to amber/red alternating lights 20+ years ago. On many of the buses the existing red light was centered between where the amber and red lights were to be mounted. What a pain!
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