Keeping buses safe for students

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Bus inspectors from the Michigan State Police inspect about 16,000 school buses every year.

"Basically the inspectors will check inside the bus outside, underneath the hood and under the carriage so it's very in depth", said Sergeant Michael McLaughlin, the Michigan State Police school bus inspector Unit Commander.

The buses should have tags in their windshields indicating if they are safe for students, safe for students but need repairs, or not safe for students.

A green tag means a school bus is safe for students to ride in. A yellow tag means a school bus is safe for students to ride in but repairs must be made within 30 days. A red tag means a bus is not safe for students to ride in.

"If a school bus is red tagged that means it needs to be repaired before it can be used for pupil transportation so if you see a school bus on the road very high percentage that that bus has passed inspection", said McLaughlin.

School bus safety is about more than just having buses in good condition, it's also about driver awareness.

"As we start this year remember that school buses are on the road. Remember there's always kids around buses. Take time don't pass vehicles when you see the lights come out slow down", said Patrick Dean, the Vice President of Business Development at Dean Transportation.

It is also important for drivers to know when to stop when buses are dropping kids off or picking them up.

"From a driver's perspective we encourage drivers to always stop at least ten feet from the bus once it's stopped. Be prepared for a bus to always stop", said Trooper Marco Jones, a Michigan State Police Community Service Trooper at the Lansing Post.

Michigan law requires drivers traveling in both directions to stop for a school bus.

"If there is not a barricade separating the lanes of traffic you have to stop no matter how busy the road is", Jones said.

Parents are also encouraged to teach their children not to play near the bus stop and to stand away from the curb.

Another thing parents can do is download a QR code application reader which can scan the code at the front of a bus to see when the bus was last inspected and which type of tag it should have.

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