Flashing yellow school bus light law goes into effect today

Published: Aug. 16, 2016 at 6:15 PM CDT
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In just a few short weeks, students will be lining up at the bus stop, getting ready to head to school. But there's a new law that actually went into effect Tuesday that hopes to make travel safer for kids who ride the bus.

Tami Harvey, Safety Director with Eau Claire Student Transit says Wisconsin is the last state in the nation to adopt the new eight-light system.

“What you're used to seeing is four flashing red lights at the top of the bus. The public sees the stop arm come out and the flashing lights. Where they see everywhere else in the country, and what is confusing for everyone other than Wisconsinites, is the bus flashes yellow as a hazard warning, saying the bus is going to slow down, and then when it stops, then the stop arm comes out. It's like a stoplight,” says Harvey.

Former bus driver Sue Seeger says anything to bring attention to bus safety, is a good thing.

“I know how the stop arms work and we did have people occasionally drive through them and I would have to slam the door shut so kids don't get off the bus. It seems like a reasonable idea that should have been implemented before,” says Seeger.

“Starting next week we're going to have private schools and other schools starting. When you see busses, just remember it's that time of year again, they're here. Just be careful to look out for school busses, no matter what lights they're using. If there's a school bus, there are children,” says Harvey.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is also working with Student Transit, creating information videos and handouts for community members.