As schools are about to start for students in Michigan, it’s important to remember local school laws and how drivers are supposed to behave around buses in the area. There was an older law that made it possible for drivers to pass school buses at intersections when they were pulled over in some instances. That law has since been modified to be much stricter and safer for everyone riding on the bus.
The New Law
According to the new law automobiles must stop at least 20 feet back from a school bus when it is stopped and the stop sign is open and the lights are flashing. This is to help protect the children from reckless behavior by automobile drivers. The students will have the space they need to cross the road and get where they need to be.
There is no longer any acceptable reason for passing a stopped school bus when its lights are flashing, which is a major improvement compared to the old law that left some questions as to when it was legal and when it was not.
Passing a stopped school bus in Michigan is a serious offense and will come along with a potential fine of between $100 and $500 depending on the severity of the crime, whether it’s your first offense or not and the details of the situation. Those fines don’t include the court costs either, which will add to the overall expenses that you have to pay.
As long as the bus is stopped and its lights are flashing motorists must take extreme caution while driving around the bus. That’s simply to protect students and it’s a common law that’s found all over the country. Students are at risk when crossing the road and walking home, this is just one way that they are made a bit safer throughout the school year. There will inevitably be drivers that evade this law or ignore it entirely, but its existence will at least discourage many drivers from passing school buses.
If you don’t live in Michigan, it’s important to research the local laws that you must abide by in your state. There are different laws everywhere, but it’s quite common for drivers to stop for stopped buses and to wait for them to get going again before moving. Many times the buses will eventually allow drivers to pass as well to avoid slowing them down too much. Be courteous to bus drivers and you’ll help protect the children within them.