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WI Handy Bus
Senior Member

USA
64 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  5:01:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
This is going to sound a little stupid but I haven't gotten an answer for this question since I started driving. WHAT is the purpose of the white strobe light on top of the bus? The only thing my boss told me was to make sure its on at all times.

bpnh23
Senior Member

66 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  5:51:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It is surposed to make the bus more visible to other motorists. Its main purpose was in foggy conditions. It was orginaly started in the midwest where the roads were miles long, but flat and stright. With the strobe light on, you could see the strobe miles away before you could even make out the bus. This is how it was explained to me. Here in New Hampshire some buses have them some don't. If your bus has one, it must be on while transporting students to and from school. Some states require newer buses to have one, and it has to be on at all driving times. Rules differ from state to state.
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Jim
Top Member

USA
581 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  7:13:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here in WV it is only required during inclement weather or when there is low visibility, and only when we are loaded with children. We don't have them on at all times. Seems to me if they are on at all times, people wouldn't pay attention to them after a while.

Edited by - Jim on 12/31/2003 10:48:41 AM
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GMCBlueBird83
Top Member

USA
1478 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  7:40:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit GMCBlueBird83's Homepage  Send GMCBlueBird83 an AOL message  Send GMCBlueBird83 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Flordia buses have these. They are always on regardless of weather conditions.

Edited by - GMCBlueBird83 on 12/30/2003 8:28:57 PM
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B. Busguy33
Top Member

USA
3444 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  7:58:09 PM  Show Profile  Visit B. Busguy33's Homepage  Send B. Busguy33 an AOL message  Send B. Busguy33 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
All of our buses are equipped with them, but we are never allowed to use them! Go figure!
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WI Handy Bus
Senior Member

USA
64 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  8:52:22 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here in WI buses registered after about June 1998 have to have them as std equipment. If registered before that they are optional. I think the only time they should be used is in inclement weather, like Mrjim says in WV. He is also correct that most people now ignore them.
My biggest complaint about them is that on a trip at night with another bus, if you are following the lead bus at anything closer than a mile, that strobe light will drive you absolutely crazy. I have asked the lead driver on such occasions to turn it off, which they do when considering if it was them following me. I automatically extend this courtesy for other drivers whether I am asked to or not. I always figured I would say that I accidentally bumped the switch off if I was ever pulled over for it.
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NewBee Driver
Senior Member

USA
191 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2003 :  10:11:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was told by my bosses that in Seattle they are only to be used during heavy fog or snow (like we actually drive in the snow) while doing an 8-way stop.

Driving Seattle To School - And Loving It!!
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JC Theriault
Top Member

Canada
1326 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  02:30:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
On these night trips are you really considered a school bus or a charter run? If not using your warning lights and doing drop offs along the route I'd say the strobe would be more of a hazard in the dark by distracting motorists or another high vehicle (ie. bus or trucker) behind you. I can't see a cop or supervisor with common sense making a fuss over shutting it off on extra-curricular or charter trips.

JC
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BlueBird16
Top Member

USA
501 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  06:21:57 AM  Show Profile  Visit BlueBird16's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In the school system I used to work for we used them to identify buses that were full of students. You turned them on at your first stop and turned them off after you dropped your last student off at school in the morning. The reverse in the afternoon. Once you made
your last stop in the afternoon the local police or a supervisor would identify your bus as being empty, if your strobe was not flashing. Now, the district has the strobes controlled through the ignition switch, so that they work when the bus is started and they go off when the bus is shut down.

Edited by - BlueBird16 on 12/31/2003 06:22:50 AM
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WI Handy Bus
Senior Member

USA
64 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  09:56:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Logic would dictate not using it at night in good weather but logic is something the state of Wi is extremely short on. Here any trip having anything to do with school age children is considered an extracirricular trip, the only time it would be a charter is if you picked up a load of adults for a trip, which in my case would be illegal since Wi bus drivers have a lower class medical than the Federal medical normally used for CDL purposes.

I like BlueBird16's theory in his previous district of using the strobe as an indication of whether chidren are on board or not. Even all our new buses still have switches for the strobe on the aux panel, I find it odd that some buses are switching them direct from the ignition switch. Also find it odd that Blue Bird went with a CAT engine in their buses this year. I myself am prejudiced toward the 5.9 cummins they have used for the past ten years. So prejudiced in fact the truck I own has a cummins in it as well. (Not to change the subject or anything!)
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thomas91
Advanced Member

USA
212 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  10:54:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Only four of our buses have a strobe light, mine being one of them. I only have used it once or twice when we had REALLY heavy snow. Are strobe lights required in Michigan? We bought these four buses used from Hoekstra Truck Equipment in Grand Rapids.
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littlebit
Advanced Member

431 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  11:42:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
All of our buses have strobes on them and they are all wired to the ignition switch. All of our lights with the exception of dashboards lights are wired this way. This was a change that took place this fall. We had one driver that never turned on any of his lights, and if he did manage to remember to turn them on, he always left them on. Instead of getting on his tail and making him straighten up~~all lights on all the buses were wired to the ignition. Go figure??

Bus 34
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kd4jfd
Top Member

USA
1154 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  11:57:23 AM  Show Profile  Click to see kd4jfd's MSN Messenger address  Send kd4jfd a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Our buses after '92 have the strobe light. It is wired into the 8-way system so that it comes on whenver you activate the ambers and shuts off whenever you close the door. We also have a manual switch so that you can turn it on the rest of the time. The policy on using the strobe at other times has changed several times, so I'm not sure if it is an option anymore.

539 - Repair work in progress! 349 for sale!SOLD!for sale!sold? SOLD and GONE!
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92FrdCarp#11
Top Member

USA
1455 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  10:34:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit 92FrdCarp#11's Homepage  Send 92FrdCarp#11 an AOL message  Click to see 92FrdCarp#11's MSN Messenger address  Send 92FrdCarp#11 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
There is no policy at my county about using them. If you want to have it on, then turn it on, if you don't want to have it on, then turn it off. My new bus has the switch wired to the ignition so that you don't leave it on when you park the bus, but it has a switch on the control panel that you can turn it on or off while doing the route.

Johnny

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Rich
Top Member

United States
5768 Posts

Posted - 12/31/2003 :  11:47:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have seen a few buses with the strobes, being used in non-inclement weather conditions.

It really does catch your eye, so it seems like a good added safety benefit.

But they of course, there are other things worthwhile, such as lighted signs, dual stop arms, LED lights, G2 Fusion Warning lamps........ ahh if only all of that was just standard equipment.



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thomas86_a
Top Member

USA
4407 Posts

Posted - 01/02/2004 :  5:33:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit thomas86_a's Homepage  Send thomas86_a an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Thomas91- Strobes are not required in Michigan, but are optional equipment. Most districts who order their buses through the MSBO-MAPT (whatever it's officaly called) bus bidding program will have strobes on their buses.

If you have an International, you NEED customer service.
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Thomas Ford 85-16
Top Member

USA
4169 Posts

Posted - 01/03/2004 :  4:32:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Thomas Ford 85-16's Homepage  Send Thomas Ford 85-16 an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Michigan law also says that they are to be used in inclement weather conditions or in conditions where visibility is limited to less than 500 (I think) feet. They can also be used at any bus stops. The thing that somewhat annoys me, though, is that 500 feet is also the limit in which headlights MUST be turned on at night, so the strobe could technically be used there. It is very distracting, though, because I have been stuck behind a bus from a neighboring district where the driver seemed to have left it on every day, and for a few weeks, it was broken so that it was flashing constantly as opposed to the normal single or double flash every two or so seconds.

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

USA
64 Posts

Posted - 01/04/2004 :  4:27:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have one odd bus in our fleet that flashes either 4 or 5 times in every cycle. I think it is a 2000 model, Blue Bird 84 pass. which is nearly identical to the 1998 84 pass. that I drove last year. The only thing that I can think this would be is a nonstandard strobe power supply installed by the strobe manufacturer. It is neat in that at night when this bus is underway it creates a streak of light up there.
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Thomas00
Top Member

USA
546 Posts

Posted - 01/05/2004 :  10:35:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I know we use our strobe when we have students on board. It off when there not students on board, also I been told it let motorist know the bus have students and use for bad weather.

~Georgia Drivers Together We Fly High~
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Chris
Top Member

USA
1013 Posts

Posted - 01/10/2004 :  7:30:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit Chris's Homepage  Send Chris an AOL message  Click to see Chris's MSN Messenger address  Send Chris a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Here, our school buses strobe lights are on whenever the bus is, doesnt matter what the weather, or if it has kids on it or not. If youre riding on the bus with few people, and sitting next to an open roof vent, the sound from the flasher can get very annoying



My Personal Fleet
1985 Ward Ford #1 Lexington Local - 1990 Wayne International NO.2 Walton-Verona - 1992 Ward Senator NO.4 Walton-Verona *SOLD*
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Driver_Dirk
Active Member

USA
25 Posts

Posted - 01/11/2004 :  01:33:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit Driver_Dirk's Homepage  Click to see Driver_Dirk's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Where I dove the school district wanted all buses to have them and to use them when ever on route picking up or droping off kids, mostly because of the bad fog, snow storms and heavily wooded roads the bus have to drive on. We would not use them on activity trips because it caused a safety problem with other cars following the buses for long distances, they would start watching the flashing light and not the brake lights.
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bosslady
Advanced Member

USA
336 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2004 :  06:41:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In the state of Kansas, the law states that strobes are to be used at the drivers discretion.
I've seen some use them all the time and some only when it is bad weather.
They do make the bus more visible, but they can be a problem at night to the others meeting them or following them.
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CRAZYOVERBUSES
Active Member

35 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2004 :  08:00:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Most of the lights in our county have the orange lense on them now. I live in Alabama and drove a trip over in Mississippi on a 90 Bluebird when they were still using the clear lense. I got pulled over my the Highway Patrol because he wanted to tell me that it was illegal in Mississippi to have a Blue light on anything but a police car!!! I explained what it was and that it was not blue.

I told our State Trainer about it and he said the same thing happened to two drivers in Alabama at the capital, but they got tickets for it!!

Does anyone remember when these first came out and they mounted them right behind the clearance lights on the back of the bus. Talk about reflecting off wet pavement.
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bbird66
Top Member

USA
881 Posts

Posted - 01/14/2004 :  10:51:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wisconsin they have to be on all the time kids on or not, even at night, I know they are a big distraction and annoying at night especially when its snowing hard! The only time they are not to be on is when the bus is marked as a "charter" with adults.

Were gonna miss you "Brent"..Good luck in "Heidi land"

"I know you miss the Wainwrights Bobby, but they were weak and stupid people...and that's why we have wolves and other large predators" .. The Far Side

"On a two hour delay when will my child be picked up??"








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Shargee
Active Member

USA
31 Posts

Posted - 01/16/2004 :  4:47:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In Texas the Law states that the strobe light is to be used during inclement weather and while loading and unloading students only. We do have some drivers that turn theirs on during pretrip and forget to turn them off. Personally, I think anything that makes people notice the bus so they won't run our lights is a God send.
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SchoolBusFan
Top Member

USA
1766 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2004 :  7:53:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit SchoolBusFan's Homepage  Send SchoolBusFan an AOL message  Send SchoolBusFan a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Anyone have a picture of these lights?

Edited by - SchoolBusFan on 02/04/2004 7:53:46 PM
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BlueBirdDriver
Advanced Member

USA
216 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2004 :  07:55:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit BlueBirdDriver's Homepage  Send BlueBirdDriver a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
You can go to www.aeroflash.com they sell strobe lights and other products for school buses. They have pics of their strobes.
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SchoolBusFan
Top Member

USA
1766 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2004 :  09:02:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit SchoolBusFan's Homepage  Send SchoolBusFan an AOL message  Send SchoolBusFan a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you Jason!!






Check out my new Yahoo group:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/ccsdschoolbuszone/
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cmccarty
New Member

8 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2004 :  5:03:35 PM  Show Profile  Send cmccarty an AOL message  Reply with Quote
Almost all of our county's buses have double-flash strobe lights but we only use them in the early morning, in rain, in fog, and on ice. It is the bus operator's choice when to use them (some use them at all times and some never use them).
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92FrdCarp#11
Top Member

USA
1455 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2004 :  5:59:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit 92FrdCarp#11's Homepage  Send 92FrdCarp#11 an AOL message  Click to see 92FrdCarp#11's MSN Messenger address  Send 92FrdCarp#11 a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
My bus driver told me one day that they (buses) are supposed to be highly visible and she has had her strobe light on everytime that I have rode the bus except once or twice.

Johnny

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Frankenbus
Active Member

USA
38 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2004 :  8:01:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To the best of my knowledge bright flashing lights are one of the triggers for migraine and/or cluster headaches.

I used to get these years ago and almost always it was the result of flashes of sun coming off of windows or other bright flashes.

These type of headaches cause blurred vision which is not a good thing to have while driving.

I haven't gotten a headache like this for a long while but I still feel uncomfortable being behind a bus using strobes. Some drivers use them even on a bright sunny day. I have used mine only (ONLY) in severe fog when I felt that other drivers really could not see me coming.
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mattworld22
Active Member

USA
20 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2004 :  07:45:03 AM  Show Profile  Visit mattworld22's Homepage  Reply with Quote
In PA, the strobe lights are not required, however, some companies and districts put them on anyways in the name of safety. Not only are these lights distracting at night, but, strobe lights are also a trigger for seizures in people with that disorder. I think they provide more of a hazard than good. There was talk a few years ago that the state was going to start requiring these and so some properties (namely Laidlaw) flocked out and bought these things in masses to put on the buses. I've heard though that the state has backed off the strobe lights currently, so, it appears they all wasted their money.

All of these uses for the strobe lights are interesting but senseless in my mind. If a supervisor wants to know whether or not a bus is empty, look inside of it as it drives by. Jeez... You don't need a strobe light to tell you that! I can almost buy the philosophy behind using them in fog, but the buses that I see around here with them use them in ANY and ALL conditions which I think is ridiculous.

Our company doesn't spec out these lights at all. A 2001 Blue Bird Conventional that I had on a charter the other day has a strobe light in the back, as it was a bus our company bought second hand. The strobe light was painted yellow though and the strobe inside, removed. It had a non-functioning switch on the dash next to the clip light switch (another quirk on this bus as the rest just have the clip lights wired into the headlight switch.)
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Stevebus42
Advanced Member

USA
363 Posts

Posted - 11/27/2004 :  2:02:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They are illegal in Oklahoma
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Bus9709
Top Member

USA
751 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2004 :  4:58:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Bus9709's Homepage  Click to see Bus9709's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
I live in Florida, and the stobe always has to be on. It dosen't matter whether or not you have students onboard, or if the conditions are good or bad.
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busmech67@aol.com
Senior Member

USA
79 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2004 :  07:33:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Laidlaw did this as a safety measure.If ever in Virginia they have traffic lights with strobes,if my kid got on or off inlow visibility,fog,snow,dust,whatever,strobe would help
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disneynuts
Advanced Member

USA
220 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  11:27:22 AM  Show Profile  Visit disneynuts's Homepage  Reply with Quote
the owners of Williams Bus Lines, Inc. has made it mandatory to use the strobes if your bus is equipped. at all times. make sure everyone sees the bus.
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