It's the start of another school year which means the buses are back on the roads taking students to and from school. As the new year gets underway in Michigan many drivers may need a little brush up on the laws in the state.

Effective at the start of last year's school year, the law prohibits anyone from entering a school bus without the bus driver's permission. Any violation of trespassing on a school bus will be punishable by up to a $500 fine. The law was a step to increase security for passengers on the school buses.

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The second law, signed into effect by Governor Gretchen Whitmer last fall, makes it easier for the police to issue tickets to those drivers who fail to stop when a bus has its lights flashing. If a driver passes a  school bus when the red lights are flashing and the stop sign is extended from the side, police can issue tickets based only on video evidence from buses. Before the law was signed, a ticket could only be issued if an officer witnessed the violation occur.

Schools are allowed to attach cameras to buses that record license plate numbers whenever a driver passes illegally. From those images, the police can then issue a citation to the driver for up to $500.

Several local communities have also implemented programs to keep kids safe as they head back to school as well. The Grand Blanc Township Police Department launched its "Operation, Safe Arrival" program once again this year. In its 19th year, the program focuses on two primary areas of concern including drivers speeding in school zones and vehicles failing to stop for buses with lights flashing.

Please make sure to keep your eyes open and your speeds slow during school hours to be sure our local children have a safe school year.

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