school bus safett

When a school bus displays its red stop arm and flashing lights, it’s your signal as a driver to pay attention.

“When you come across that stop sign, imagine your life relies on it because someone else’s certainly does,” says TPS transportation department director Ben Newsome.

As buses resume their routes this school year, Newsome emphasizes the importance of people staying attentive, highlighting the repercussions of failing to do so.

Buses in many districts, including Tecumseh Public Schools, are now equipped with cameras.

“Some are in a hurry to reach work, while others are already working might choose to disregard the stop sign and the laws that are in place,” said Newsome. “However, there are consequences, including being hit with a fine or charged with a crime."

Those who disregard stopped school buses could face civil charges resulting in fines ranging from $100 to $500. Offenders might also be obligated to complete up to 100 hours of community service within a school setting.

According to the state of Michigan, most bus-related fatalities and injuries occur among pedestrians, primarily children. They get hit by buses or harmed while crossing traffic after exiting the bus. 

Drivers undergo intensive training to guarantee the safety of children during their journeys. While this training aids bus drivers in ensuring children’s safety, the potential threat to young passengers on school buses often arises from other motorists.

“The key thing to remember is that we’re a prominent yellow bus, highly visible; simply stay aware of our presence,” said Newsome.

Ensuring school bus safety remains a primary concern. Michigan’s state guidelines offer drivers advice on how to maintain the safety of children in the vicinity of school buses.

School bus safety tips for drivers:

  • Prepare to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing
  • Stop at least 20 feet away from buses when red lights are flashing unless driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway
  • Slow down in or near school and residential areas
  • Look for clues-such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles, and playgrounds-that indicate children might be in the area
  • Watch for children between parked cars and other objects

School buses are like traffic signals:

  • When overhead lights are flashing yellow: Prepare to stop
  • When overhead lights are flashing red: Stop
  • When hazard warning lights are flashing: Proceed with caution

School bus safety tips for students:

  • Always stay in sight of the bus driver
  • Don’t hurry off the bus, check traffic first
  • Don’t go back to the bus after exiting