School bus stop safety gaining national attention after multiple deaths

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- Story has been edited to correct bus light information

School bus stop safety is gaining national attention after five children were killed last week while waiting for the bus.

From 2005-2014, more pedestrians died in school transportation-related crashes than school bus occupants, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The NHTSA also reports that students are about 70 times more likely to get to school safely by taking a bus instead of traveling by car.

During the last school year, the National Association of Pupil Transportation reports that 32,965 vehicles illegally passed stopped buses.

There was also a close call in one mid-Michigan community.

A Grass Lake Community Schools bus driver told a student on Thursday not to cross the street to board the bus because an oncoming vehicle was appearing not to stop.

The student followed the directions, stayed off the road and the driver did eventually stop.

Here's what the lights mean on a school bus:

• Overhead amber lights are flashing: Drivers must prepare to stop.

• Overhead red lights are flashing: All traffic must stop at least 20 feet away from the school bus to allow for the safe loading or unloading of students from the bus.

• Amber lights in line with the taillights are flashing: drivers may proceed with caution.

• Lights are canceled: Cars also should proceed with caution.

Information from Doug Meockel, director of transportation with the Community and Cooperative Services at Grass Lake Community Schools.