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Author Topic: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction  (Read 1243 times)

andrepoiy

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School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« on: September 30, 2022, 11:58:20 PM »

It has recently come to my attention that Ontario school buses have now shifted from a red-only lighting system to a yellow-red lighting system as outlined by this tweet.

?cxt=HHwWgoCylZyZ7b4rAAAA

Which system does your jurisdiction use?
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US 89

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2022, 12:12:52 AM »

It is my understanding that the yellow-red system is used all across the US? I can't recall ever seeing anything else.

Scott5114

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2022, 01:40:09 AM »

The school buses I rode on in 1996, which is the furthest back I can remember being able to notice such things, had yellow and red lights.
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CNGL-Leudimin

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2022, 05:53:21 AM »

The same as a regular bus (i.e. none beyond the standard vehicular ones), since here in Spain regular buses are used as school buses. There are even some lines that function as both regular and school routes at the same time.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2022, 09:19:20 AM by CNGL-Leudimin »
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Big John

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2022, 08:22:51 AM »

Wisconsin became the last state to adopt the yellow/red system a couple years ago.  It used to be red only.
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1995hoo

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2022, 09:13:02 AM »

When I was a kid (1970s and 1980s), the lights were red only here. I dont know when they switched to red and yellow, but theyve been that way for quite a long time, probably since sometime in the 1990s.

When I was a kid the buses also didnt all have the swing-out stop sign until sometime in the 1980s, and the flat-front buses showed up in the late 1980s when I was in high school after studies found the hood obstructed the driver's view of little kids who might be in front of the bus.
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Big John

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2022, 10:54:58 AM »

^^ About the time they put a swing out bar in the front of the bus so kids could not go directly in front of the bus.
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webny99

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2022, 11:54:37 AM »

Echoing what others have said, I've only ever seen active school buses with both yellow and red lights as far back as I can recall.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2022, 12:02:33 PM »

I started Kindergarten in 1980, and I never knew anything else but red & yellow lights.

I don't remember the swing bar when I went to school, because I'm sure I would've walked into it a few times.  I think that came after 1993.  Same thing with the STOP sign that swung out.  (And NJ only requires 1, not 2, stop signs on school buses). 

Relatively recently the state required the white strobe on the top of the bus, which I find useless.

We also walked to the bus stop about 1/4 mile (5 minutes) away at a T-intersection in the neighborhood in elementary school.  After we got on the bus, it backed up into the T where we feared the bus driver would back into a drainage ditch off the side of the road and we'll roll over (which was, in hindsight, a really small ditch and we definitely wouldn't have rolled over).  All stuff that's rare or prohibited now.
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Scott5114

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2022, 07:04:12 PM »

Buses in Oklahoma still don't have the swing bar.

I used to like to sit behind the bus driver when I was a little kid, and was fascinated by the great big bank of switches that the driver had access to. One of these was the one that controlled the yellow flashers. There were also a bunch of spaces for switches that were labeled, but our buses didn't have, so there was no switch there. Some of them seemed quite fantastical, like "heated crosswalk".

Every once in a while I would ask if I could open the door when we reached my stop. The door open mechanism was this handle that swung 180 and had a linkage that pulled the bifold door open and closed. This was a really interesting bit of machinery to me at the time. I wouldn't be surprised if, these days, it was motorized and controlled by the push of a button. Hell, the whole switch bank is probably just a touchscreen now, sadly.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2022, 07:10:37 PM by Scott5114 »
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2022, 11:22:26 PM »

Echoing what others have said, I've only ever seen active school buses with both yellow and red lights as far back as I can recall.

The only major change is now a lot more buses have obnoxious pulsing LED flashers instead of the steady fluorescent.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2022, 11:34:19 PM »

Buses in Oklahoma still don't have the swing bar.

I used to like to sit behind the bus driver when I was a little kid, and was fascinated by the great big bank of switches that the driver had access to. One of these was the one that controlled the yellow flashers. There were also a bunch of spaces for switches that were labeled, but our buses didn't have, so there was no switch there. Some of them seemed quite fantastical, like "heated crosswalk".

Every once in a while I would ask if I could open the door when we reached my stop. The door open mechanism was this handle that swung 180 and had a linkage that pulled the bifold door open and closed. This was a really interesting bit of machinery to me at the time. I wouldn't be surprised if, these days, it was motorized and controlled by the push of a button. Hell, the whole switch bank is probably just a touchscreen now, sadly.

I think the school buses I was on had a little floor button that the driver tapped with their left foot as we approached a school bus stop.  It was evident from where I sat their hands never left the wheel.  After I could figure that out, I always tried leaning in to find that little button.

Likewise, I would want to operate the door as well.  Or many of us on the bus would want the driver to drive the bus with the door open.  Obviously, that wasn't permitted...maybe we drove a few feet as the driver closed the door, but that was it.
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cjk374

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2022, 06:50:56 AM »

My bus was red light only the whole time I was in grade school...1979-1992. During this time there was only a couple of buses with red & yellow lights. I have never seen a school bus without a swing-out stop sign of some kind. My first bus had red rectangles with STOP on them & no lights.

The 10' bumper bar showed up sometime after I graduated in 1992.
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Dirt Roads

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2022, 11:02:47 AM »

The first ones that I saw in West Virginia were in Kanawha County during the 1978-79 school year.  Putnam County adopted them the next school year, starting with the 1979 bus series numbered 791 through 798, and those were also the first to be equipped with the swing-out stop signs.

Putnam County adopted the school year numbering system for buses starting in 1962, and somehow I ended up on bus 622 and 621 during various times.  Those were also the first in the county to be equipped with padded seats.  But I am old enough to have been fortunate to start out on Bus #22 that was built in 1948 and later Bus #48 that was built sometime around 1955.  Needless to say, those all had red-only flashers.
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jakeroot

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2022, 11:52:11 AM »

Buses in British Columbia feature amber and red lights. Have for as long as I can remember.

It looks like Ontario was the only place in North America to not have early-warning amber lights...

kphoger

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2022, 11:55:25 AM »

Amber-only flashing lights seem to cause some drivers confusion.  For example, if a school bus is parallel-parked with its amber lights flashing but no stop sign extended, I see a lot of people slow down or stop because they aren't totally sure it's OK to pass the bus.
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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2022, 11:58:46 AM »

Amber-only flashing lights seem to cause some drivers confusion.  For example, if a school bus is parallel-parked with its amber lights flashing but no stop sign extended, I see a lot of people slow down or stop because they aren't totally sure it's OK to pass the bus.

Normally when I see this, the bus just has its hazard lights active. Having the larger pre-red lights active would be a bit confusing, since many drivers treat the system like a yellow light at a signal (prepare to stop or keep going if too close).

Pink Jazz

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2022, 12:04:43 PM »

When I lived in Virginia Beach, I think they switched to the red/amber lights starting with the 1987 model year buses. 1993 had a few test buses with white roofs, but it wasn't until the 1994 model year that they were regular spec.
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andrepoiy

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2022, 03:59:46 PM »

Yeah old school buses looked like this:

,


The new ones that started to come out after like 2010 had 2 red lights, meaning they could be converted to amber at any time, which just happened to be the start of this school year.


« Last Edit: October 04, 2022, 04:02:19 PM by andrepoiy »
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PurdueBill

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2022, 08:58:24 PM »

In Massachusetts in the 80s the yellow lights at the top (inside of the red ones) started to come in but the driver of our middle school bus route for whatever reason had a bus with only red ones (there was something like her part-owning it or something along with working for the contractor; some odd arrangement where she had "her own" bus vs. all the others which were basically a pool).  She was going to get a new bus and we expected it to be one like all the others, and nope--still only the red lights.  Had to be one of the last ones delivered anywhere in Mass with only red ones as just about everywhere around there had red and yellow by the late 80s.
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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2022, 01:36:53 PM »


Amber-only flashing lights seem to cause some drivers confusion.  For example, if a school bus is parallel-parked with its amber lights flashing but no stop sign extended, I see a lot of people slow down or stop because they aren't totally sure it's OK to pass the bus.

Normally when I see this, the bus just has its hazard lights active. Having the larger pre-red lights active would be a bit confusing, since many drivers treat the system like a yellow light at a signal (prepare to stop or keep going if too close).

No, I don't mean regular hazard lights.  I mean the alternating amber lights up top.  In fact, I just ran across one yesterday on my way home from work, parallel-parked on an undivided four-lane avenue.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2022, 02:09:58 PM »


Amber-only flashing lights seem to cause some drivers confusion.  For example, if a school bus is parallel-parked with its amber lights flashing but no stop sign extended, I see a lot of people slow down or stop because they aren't totally sure it's OK to pass the bus.

Normally when I see this, the bus just has its hazard lights active. Having the larger pre-red lights active would be a bit confusing, since many drivers treat the system like a yellow light at a signal (prepare to stop or keep going if too close).

No, I don't mean regular hazard lights.  I mean the alternating amber lights up top.  In fact, I just ran across one yesterday on my way home from work, parallel-parked on an undivided four-lane avenue.

I've seem this when the bus is waiting for the kid to come out of the house.

It is proper for people to slow down when yellow lights are lit because you don't know when the kid may come out, so I get that.  If the driver is stopping, then they're being a bit overly cautious.

The worst example I saw of this one time is when my bus was stopped to make a left turn with only its left blinker on, and a driver going the other way decided to stop because the bus was stopped... blocking the intersection we were turning to turn at. The driver semi-frantically waved to get her out of the way.
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jakeroot

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2022, 02:28:25 PM »


Amber-only flashing lights seem to cause some drivers confusion.  For example, if a school bus is parallel-parked with its amber lights flashing but no stop sign extended, I see a lot of people slow down or stop because they aren't totally sure it's OK to pass the bus.

Normally when I see this, the bus just has its hazard lights active. Having the larger pre-red lights active would be a bit confusing, since many drivers treat the system like a yellow light at a signal (prepare to stop or keep going if too close).

No, I don't mean regular hazard lights.  I mean the alternating amber lights up top.  In fact, I just ran across one yesterday on my way home from work, parallel-parked on an undivided four-lane avenue.

I know you dont mean regular hazard lights, I was just saying that when I see a bus pulled off to the side of the road, loading or unloading, its normally the hazard lights that are on. Having the pre-red flashing amber lights on whilst parallel park is very confusing for drivers, as alternating flashing amber always proceeds flashing red. Unless theres no kid getting on or off, in which case, the lights extinguish, and the bus continues.

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2022, 03:21:20 PM »

Always been red and yellow with a stop arm since I was born.
Around 2000, buses here started to get front safety bars.
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Scott5114

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Re: School bus light colours in your jurisdiction
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2022, 06:55:56 PM »


Amber-only flashing lights seem to cause some drivers confusion.  For example, if a school bus is parallel-parked with its amber lights flashing but no stop sign extended, I see a lot of people slow down or stop because they aren't totally sure it's OK to pass the bus.

Normally when I see this, the bus just has its hazard lights active. Having the larger pre-red lights active would be a bit confusing, since many drivers treat the system like a yellow light at a signal (prepare to stop or keep going if too close).

No, I don't mean regular hazard lights.  I mean the alternating amber lights up top.  In fact, I just ran across one yesterday on my way home from work, parallel-parked on an undivided four-lane avenue.

I know you dont mean regular hazard lights, I was just saying that when I see a bus pulled off to the side of the road, loading or unloading, its normally the hazard lights that are on. Having the pre-red flashing amber lights on whilst parallel park is very confusing for drivers, as alternating flashing amber always proceeds flashing red. Unless theres no kid getting on or off, in which case, the lights extinguish, and the bus continues.

We had a school bus driver that used the right turn signal for that.
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