New Equipment Required on School Bus Exterior to Keep Children Safe

Crossing arm extended from front of school bus prevents children from entering danger zone.

Is there a new law-requiring crossing signs on school buses?  I thought they had to have them already.

There is a new law requiring a CROSSING CONTROL ARM on school buses.  This is different from the stop arm/stop sign that extends from the left side of the bus.  This crossing control arm, or gate, must extend from the front right corner of the front bumper and must do so automatically when the bus stops with red signal lights in use. The purpose is to prevent children from crossing in front of the bus in the zone where the driver cannot see them.

As of January 1, 2013, newly manufactured school buses in Minnesota must come with the crossing arm/gate.  However, if you start taking notice, you will see that many of the older buses have been retrofitted with these devices. The appearance, of the arm itself, may differ but the specs and use must be the same.

For more school bus safety visit: https://dps.mn.gov/DIVISIONS/OTS/SCHOOL-BUS-SAFETY/Pages/default.aspx


School Bus Safety Tips for Children

Parents should discuss and demonstrate pedestrian safety with their children and reinforce safe crossing after exiting a bus:

  • When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder (side of the road).
  • Before crossing the street, take five “giant steps” out from the front of the bus, or until the driver’s face can be seen.
  • Wait for the driver to signal that it’s safe to cross.
  • Look left-right-left when coming to the edge of the bus to make sure traffic is stopped. Keep watching traffic when crossing.

School Bus Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and/or its stop arm is extended when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads.
  • Red flashing lights on buses indicates students are either entering or exiting the bus.

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