SUMMARY OF BILL
REPORTED FROM COMMITTEE
The bill would amend the Pupil Transportation Act to allow a school bus to be equipped with flashing advisory signs on the rear and front of the bus for the purpose of warning the operators of other vehicles of the presence of a traffic hazard requiring the use of unusual care in approaching, overtaking, or passing, if certain criteria were fulfilled; establish specifications of the signs; and prescribe the warning messages that they would have to display.
Specifically, the sign would have to do the following:
-- In amber letters, alternately flash the word messages "caution" and "stopping" when the amber school bus safety lights were activated.
-- In red letters, flash the word message "stop" or "do not pass" when the red school bus safety lights were activated.
-- In amber letters, flash the word message "caution" or "caution stopping" when the hazard lights were activated.
-- In amber letters, flash the word message "caution" when back-up lights were activated.
The bill specifies that Section 12 (which the bill would create) could be referred to as the "Privacky Law".
The bill would have no fiscal impact on the State, with optional costs to school districts and intermediate districts that operate school buses and chose to upgrade or purchase new school buses with enhanced advisory signs. According to the Michigan Association for Pupil Transportation, the costs to add on or upgrade existing school buses with enhanced advisory signs range from $250 to $350 per bus, due to multiple vendors and economies of scale. This would be the additional costs for districts that chose to purchase or upgrade school buses with enhanced advisory signs. For school districts that have a contractor that provides busing services, those contracts could increase in cost if the districts opted for enhanced advisory signs. There are 15,833 publicly owned, privately owned, and contractor-owned school buses throughout the State, based on the number of school bus inspections made by the Michigan Department of State Police in fiscal year 2015-16. If every district and contractor were to upgrade school buses, the total costs across the State would equal $5.5 million or $4.17 per pupil on average.
This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.