Legal Edge: Laws surrounding school buses

Legal Edge

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – With school starting again, school busses will once again be on the road. So, what is the law for motorists who encounter them?

6 News is here for you with local attorney Bryan Waldman to break down the laws.

When it comes to laws surrounding school buses and stops , they are some of the most important AND SOME of the most misunderstood laws in Michigan’s motor vehicle code.

What it says is that, once a school bus stops and puts on those flashing red lights, if you’re driving in either direction, you have to come to a complete stop, at least 20 feet away from the box.

you have to remain stopped until the bus starts to move again or when those flashing red lights are shut off.

the only exception to that is if you’re traveling the opposite way of the school bus and you’re on a road, that’s divided by something that stops traffic from crossing like a boulevard or something with a guard or a guard rail in the middle.

What happens if someone violates the law? What’s the punishment?

It’s a civil infraction, just like most moving violations in an automobile. It involves a fine and three points being put on your driver’s record with the secretary of state.

Then the judge has discretion to add to a penalty of up to a hundred hours of community service. Specifically at a school.

There are also laws being changed to help catch offenders

The changes take place on October 1st of this year, and the changes have to do with school buses being able to mount something called stop arm camera systems

What those are essentially multiple cameras on the bus that will be able to take pictures of cars that aren’t following this law.

Those pictures can then be given to the police, who can then get the driver’s license number. And under the existing law, there’s what they call a rebuttable presumption that the owner of the car. So when they track the license plate to the owner of the car, they assumer the owner is also the driver.

Then becomes your burden of proving that it wasn’t you driving it. They’re also removing that provision that allows for the judge to add community service to the penalty.

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