MARQUETTE — With school back in session next week, you are bound to see those big, yellow buses back in business. ABC Ten’s Caleb Scanlon has more on how you and other drivers on the road can keep kids safe as they venture to and from school.
Hundreds of school busses will be back on the road soon in the Upper Peninsula, and with that comes responsibility from other drivers to keep the students safe.
“We need a refresher because we haven’t been exposed to buses on the road for about three months,” said Director of Auxiliary Service John Kurkowski, “so we haven’t had to deal with that facet of traffic. Starting Tuesday, September 8th buses are back on the road and we need to be aware of them, we need to recall what we need to do as we approach a bus and what to be looking out for.”
One of the biggest things to look out for are the amber lights come on.
“That means that a bus is going to be doing a stop probably within about 200 feet and that traffic should start slowing down and following caution as the light indicates. Then after that the bus is going to at some point and time dead stop, set the parking brake and open the service door which turns on the red overhead lights signaling a full stop for all traffic.”
Based on Michigan law, a bus may be doing different things for different stops, depending on where the student is coming from.
“If a student is going to be crossing the road to get to their bus, the bus stays in the traffic lane. If the student or students are no–cross, in other words they enter the door from the service side door, the right side of the bus, the bus is supposed to pull off the roadway as far as possible.”
While on the road, it is critical to remember that with larger vehicles come larger blind spots.
“The further a vehicle is away from the bus, the more apt the bus is to see the vehicle within their mirrors, particularly behind the bus. There is a large blind spot right behind the bus and the further back a vehicle is, the more visibility you’re providing the driver.”
Failure to stop for a bus while it is displaying red lights is punishable by law and may result in points on your license, a hefty fine, and risk child safety.