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 Use of Eight-Way Lighting System to Deliver Food
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BLB
New Member

1 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2020 :  1:41:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit BLB's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Just wanted to start a conversation about the usage of the eight-way warning system during food deliveries. As far as I understand under Pennsylvania state code the eight-way warning system (the "Reds") should not be used as a means to control traffic without being directly involved within the process of picking up or discharging students. The pandemic has pushed school bus operations into realms that they were never designed or intended.
Thus, one would only expect unforeseen problems. Like other districts across the US, our district pushed our fleet into food service delivery. Not only does this provide a service to our students, but it also provides a job for our CDL drivers and has prevented them from being laid off. To comply with the state code (as I understand it) the drivers have only been using their hazard lights when making these food deliveries. The transportation department has received numerous complaints from confused motorists. Although the food routes were designed to be nearly all door-side-stops, we have had some incidents with passing traffic. I sent an email to the state school bus unit explaining the situation and the response I received was "Please refer to District Superintendent." The superintendent would like us to use the "reds" when making these food deliveries. I also reached out the local police department and they had no problem with us using the "reds" and in fact seem to encourage it. They took the opinion that due to the fact that the process (students waiting at their assign school bus stop, walking up to the school bus doors, receiving their food package, and then walking away from the school bus) satisfied the need and law for the usage of the eight-way lighting system. Just curious to see what procedures other districts / contractors are doing -- especially those from Pennsylvania. I believe the Governor of Maine signed an executive order allowing the "reds" to be used in delivering food.

Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4491 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2020 :  12:16:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My operation in Ohio did the food service thing back in the spring. Same here...the 8 ways are only for student pickup & drop off. I'd say 90% of our stops were done with hazards only, but we were blessed with a very understanding and supporting motoring public (mostly).

What I told the drivers was more or less, if you need to use the warning lights for safety, I'd like to meet the officer who would write you a ticket or the judge who wouldn't throw it out.

I'm not saying using the 8 ways is right, but sometimes you have to do what's best. Good judgement is always the key...loss of life or injury isn't something any of us want to see.

We made it a point to make the stops as quickly as we could and let traffic around us when possible. The good manners tend to work both ways.

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wwinters
Senior Member

USA
114 Posts

Posted - 10/26/2020 :  05:37:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
8 ways for loading and unloading students only, I think 383.123 covers it.
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Brook Peacock
Senior Member

54 Posts

Posted - 11/09/2020 :  03:17:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Brook Peacock's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow, it's a good job by your local police department for approving it.
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