Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently signed into law four bills designed to raise safety standards for school buses and school bus operators.
The legislation, signed by Whitmer on July 14, makes the following requirements law:
- HB 4201 prohibits any unauthorized person from entering a school bus without the permission of the school bus driver. Any person that violates the law will be charged with a civil infraction and may have to pay a fine of no more than $500.
- Meanwhile, HB 4203 amends the messaging that is allowed to be painted on a school bus and permits a sticker to be attached to the left side of the service door between the bottom of the window and the black rub rails. The bill states that the sticker must read as follows: “An unauthorized person attempting to board or boarding this school bus is subject to citation for a civil infraction and may be ordered to pay a civil fine of not more than $500.00.”
- HB 4202 allows school buses in the state to be equipped with a stop-arm camera system that provides photo and/or video evidence of a motorist illegally passing a stopped school bus when the bus’s red flashing lights are activated.
- HB 4204 adds that school districts that decide to equip their buses with a stop-arm camera system can either install and operate the system themselves or enter into a contract with a private vendor.
"Every child in Michigan deserves access to a safe, secure ride to and from school," Whitmer said in a news release. "These bills make our school buses safer, allowing every child to safely attend school, where they can learn and grow. I am proud to sign these bills that puts Michigan's children first."
Rep. Jack O'Malley (R-Lake Ann), who sponsored HB 4201, added that this legislation will help the state “have better enforcement of those who ignore the stop arm,” and “the boarding with permission brings the respect our drivers need while keeping our kids safe."