MAILBAG: Do I need to stop for school buses?

Bernice of Grand Haven wrote: "I've seen drivers go right around school buses with their lights flashing. I thought the law is that you have to stop when the bus is flashing lights. Doesn't that mean kids are getting on or off the bus?"
Mark Brooky
Sep 3, 2012



Always a good question as school starts, and that's Tuesday!

Motorists have to be extra careful now that kids are out at the bus stops. And, as the days grow shorter, kids will be out in the dark waiting for the morning bus. That adds more danger.

So what's the law? State Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, posted this in a recent newsletter:

"It's that time of year again when bus stops are full and school bells are ringing. The school year will officially begin for most students on Sept. 4. Motorists are reminded to watch for children as they walk or ride their bikes to and from school.

"Drivers are also reminded to treat school bus lights like traffic signals:

— Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is preparing to stop to load or unload children. Slow down and prepare to stop your vehicle

— Red flashing lights and extended stop arms indicate children are getting on or off. Michigan law requires motorists to stop and wait until the red lights stop flashing and the extended stop sign is withdrawn before driving past the school bus.

"Public Acts 59 and 60 of 2011 increase the penalties for motorists who fail to exercise caution in school bus safety zones. Fines are doubled for moving violations committed in a school bus safety zone and it is a misdemeanor for injuring and a felony for killing a child getting on or off a school bus.

"Parents are encouraged to remind children about safety while waiting for the bus or walking to school.
-— Have a safe place to wait for the bus, away from traffic and the street.
— Do not run or play near the roadway while waiting for the bus or walking to school.
— Make sure to always remain in clear view of the bus driver. Never go behind the bus.
— Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
— Do not talk to strangers. Tell your parents or a trusted adult if a stranger tries to talk to you."

Do you have a question for the Tribune? E-mail it to, and type MAILBAG in the subject line. Or mail it the old-fashioned way to: Grand Haven Tribune, MAILBAG, 101 N. Third St., Grand Haven, MI 49417. We'll do our best to get you an answer! A new Mailbag appears on at 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.



Another Mailbag editorial beat up but very timely and hopefully an effective reminder for those of us who don't have kids in school. (I can't believe this was a serious question though......) Please, EVERYONE be careful around our schools, school buses, school zones and even those side streets surrounding school areas.


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