Metro Detroit Drivers Get Lesson from Police in School Bus Safety

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A Review of Michigan School Bus Safety Laws

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Metro Detroit Drivers Get Lesson from Police in School Bus Safety

Everyone across the nation, including those of us at The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, were saddened of learning about the tragic school bus accident in Indiana that took the lives of three young children and left another in critical condition. With the investigation now complete and charges made against the young driver who disregarded the school bus stop arm and blinking lights positioned to guide the children safely across the road, many communities across the U.S. have rallied for stronger support from local police and stricter outcomes for those who disregard school bus safety.

In Michigan, the Westland Police Department is continuing a major crackdown campaign started in 2017, to hold drivers who speed beyond stopped school buses accountable. It started last year when a Westland parent took a short video on his phone of a bus stop on Ford Road to show local police that even though the school bus driver presented several safety stop signals, as well as blowing a horn, cars repeatedly broke the law and risked dangerous outcomes for the children boarding and exiting their bus. Since the parent shared the video, the department has been actively trying to increase awareness through giving out an estimated 90 traffic tickets over the last year, at the amount of $215 per violation, to any driver breaking school bus stopping and passing laws.

The Westland Police Department’s community Facebook page has wonderful videos, updates, and warnings about school bus safety for other Michigan communities to adopt.

School buses are still the safest mode of transportation for children traveling to and from school. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says riding in a school bus is safer than walking, riding a bicycle, or being driven to school in private vehicles.

Michigan School Bus Safety Laws Reviewed

Michigan State Police report the majority of bus-related deaths and injuries involve school age children who are struck by a bus when they are exiting to cross traffic. Injuries are often critical if not fatal.

As a reminder, in Michigan, school buses should be treated like traffic signals. This means:

  • 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

Drivers should be prepared to stop when a slowing bus has its overhead yellow lights flashing and stop at least 20 feet away for buses when red lights are flashing, unless driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway. In addition, always remind your child to stay in sight of the bus driver, don’t hurry off the bus, check traffic first, and to never return to the bus after exiting.

Is there a school zone or bus stop where you see Michigan drivers routinely disregarding safety and traffic laws? If you can capture the risky drivers on video please do, and then report it to your local police department.

School Bus Accident Injury Lawyers

If you or your child has been injured in a school bus accident, the motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm are ready to use our decades of experience to help your family move forward and start the healing process. Not only can a personal injury lawsuit help ease financial burdens on your family, but it can help create change in a system that poses serious dangers to other kids every single day.

Please call and speak to our car accident attorneys at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form.