School Bus Safety & Michigan Motorists

School bus stop sign equipped with cameras for safety violations

Like some of you, I encounter many school buses on my daily commute. With the new school year just starting, I thought it worthwhile to provide a reminder of what is required of drivers when encountering a stopped school bus, along with an update on a new Michigan law. The rules are simple:

  • Prepare to stop upon approaching a slowing school bus that has its overhead yellow lights flashing (the ones nearest the roof).
  • Come to a full stop at least 20 feet from a stopped school bus that is displaying alternating, flashing red lights unless you’re driving in the opposite direction on a divided highway. Do not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the red flashing lights are turned off.
  • When hazard-only warning lights are flashing, proceed with caution.

The presence of an optional stop sign that automatically extends along the driver’s side of the bus when the red lights are activated does not determine the need to stop; the key is the flashing red lights.

New for this year, those stop signs may be equipped with a camera that automatically records video or sequenced photos of a vehicle failing to stop. Tickets can now be issued solely based on those videos or photographs and used as evidence; there is no longer any requirement that a law enforcement officer witness the violation. Remember also that the registered owner of the vehicle in the video or photo is presumed to be the driver until it is shown otherwise.

Questions? We’re here to help. Reach out to us at or call 248.477.6300.

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