School buses here to begin using new 8-light warning system

School buses in Wisconsin will begin looking a little different when they are preparing to make a stop starting this school year.

Heidi Mingesz, Wilmot Terminal manager, for Dousman Transport Co., Inc. which carries students for many Western Kenosha County school districts, shared the following info about the new 8-light warning light system:

Dousman Transport Wisconsin school buses will begin using an eight-light system beginning Aug. 16, thanks to a law that was passed earlier this year. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Section 108, added four additional warning lights to school buses in 1968. The additional lamps are amber in color and inboard of the red warning lights; intended to signal an upcoming stop to drivers and overridden by the red lights and stop sign as the entry door is opened. Many states adopted the eight-light system during the 1970s and 1980s. Wisconsin was the single remaining state to adopt this safety feature, which now goes into effect on August 16. Most buses in Wisconsin will be switched to this new light system, depending on the model year of the school bus. The 8-light system incorporates the use of amber lights. The amber lights will flash before the red lights as a ‘Warning’ that the bus is preparing to stop, similar to a traffic light. The additional lights alert vehicles traveling around a school bus that they should prepare to stop. Wisconsin DOT has prepared a video to demonstrate how the light system works and gives additional information. The video is here:

The link is also on the WSBA website: as well as the association Facebook page. As Wisconsin prepares for another school year, Watch for School Buses with amber and red lights flashing. They are preparing to stop or are Stopped! It’s against the law to not stop for a school bus, but more importantly, our children are counting on You for their safety in getting to school and home! The Wisconsin School Bus Association, founded in 1968, promotes and encourages safety in school bus transportation in Wisconsin. The association represents more than 200 operator companies, school districts, and affiliated service companies.



  1. Richard A. Bosanko says:

    This is a good idea…it will give drivers a little more time to prepare to stop behind a school bus when the red warning lights come on. Given the frequency that drivers speed up to “beat the light” in busy intersections, one would hope our children’s safety would encourage all drivers to be more aware. While this is just a small step in protecting our children, ask yourself “why aren’t seat belts required on school buses”?

  2. Donna says:

    Who is going to help 60 little kids out of them in an accident in order to evacuate?
    It’s been proved safer over and over they are better off not secured. Many buses have them in the front few rows to ensure they aren’t ejected, but bus crashes are extremely rare.

  3. Memories. says:

    Just strange that for the state of Wisconsin to be first in so many things in history that we are now dead last in this. I grew up in Illinois and remember the yellow light before the red.
    I wondered some times about what happened to the yellow lights but the change was me moving here where it wasn’t used.

    I guess my question is why did it take decades for Wisconsin to get with the program? Better late then never is sometimes said in cases like this, but dead last?

    As a state we should be ashamed!

  4. Richard A. Bosanko says:

    @Donna….Show me one study that kids are “proved safer over and over and are better off not secured”. ABSURD! If you seriously believe that ,why are kids 8 years old or younger REQUIRED to be in approved CHILD RESTRAINT SEATS when in a moving vehicle …EXCEPT for SCHOOL BUSES! “Bus crashes are extremely rare”…so
    when a big yellow 45 foot “torpedo” is cruising down highway 50 at 55 miles per hour(anybody ever been passed by a school bus exceeding the speed limit?. I have)
    with 40 kids “unbuckled” and the bus is in an accident, those 4 and 5 year old kid are “safer” because they are not wearing seat belts? Donna..did you ever notice the
    “emergency escape trap doors’ on the top of school buses? What do you think THOSE might be for? You state “who is going to help 60 little kids ot of them(the bus) in an accident in order to evacuate? Well Donna, following your warped logic….who is going to help those same 60 kids where they are all seriously injured by the impact of the accident? Those who are thrown from the bus through the windows won’ t really have to worry about being evacuated, will they?
    For those of you reading this that think I am over reacting…I am a retired firefighter. Cops, firefighters, EMS folks know exactly what I am talking about. Those “extremely rare” school bus crashes are always MAJOR INCIDENTS to those responding… say nothing about the parents worried about their children on the bus. Donna, you think it’s ok to put a 4 year old child on a bus without the need to wear a seatbelt. I don’t.

  5. Richard A. Bosanko says:

    @Donna: Perhaps you should speak to the MULTIPLE emergency response teams that responded to the bus accident on Highway 50 just west of highway B a few years back. You might remember, the semi truck/trailer that PLOWED into the back of a stopped school bus. A true miracle that no children were killed. You know, one of those “extremely rare” bus crashes. Would seat belts have made a difference in the injury outcome to the children? Perhaps not. Picture that same bus going down into the median grassy strip and rolling on its side. Then talk to me about how the kids would be “better off” without seat belts.

  6. Richard A. Bosanko says:

    Imagine a school bus loaded with 40 children unsecured(not wearing seat belts) rolling down the highway at 55 mph. The centrifugal force generated by an impact accident will basically turn those children into “pinballs” inside of a big yellow pinball machine! Remember the chrome metal handrails that used to be on the seats in school buses? Those have been replaced with higher seat backs, so the kids won’t hit the metal handrail with their faces when they are thrown forward in an accident. Now, they will hit the padded back seat. A broken neck is a broken neck. But hey….those accident are “extremely rare”. Buckle up!!! (If you can!)

  7. Zues says:

    @Memories Please move back to IL. Thinking like yours is what is killing this great state. Oh bu the way try looking up personal responsibility, Ya I know folks like you have no interest in such things.

  8. Greg Galich says:

    Donna: I am a retired firefighter/paramedic. I have never seen a study that said it was safer to not have seat beats in a bus. I have seen many studies that push for putting them in buses. When you see the simulated crashes with school buses and the children flying around helpless. You will change your mind.

  9. To Zues. says:

    Not exactly sure what you’re referencing here. Having the yellow lights on the buses does not increase the cost to you the taxpayer or the school. It increases Saftey.

    It’s a one time cost to the bus company which is negligible.
    Again I still don’t understand how you’re saying that this is a bad thing for the state ?

    And what personal responsibility are you referring to? My kids are on the bus and I am at home or at work. How am I responsible or not responsible?

    Please clarify.

  10. Greg Galich says:

    Don’t understand what Zues is talking about. Please explain. Doesn’t make sense.

  11. Richard A. Bosanko says:

    @Donna……you advise “many buses have them(seat belts)in the front few rows to ensure that they aren’t ejected”. Did your studies show that some children might be ejected, hence the seat belts? Where does that danger of being ejected Row 4? Row 5? Where is your child going to sit? Did you ever consider that kids might be ejected on the sides of the bus? Who conducted the studies you cite.the bus companies? The simple fact is that the bus companies do not want to spend the additional money to install seat belts, and there is no requirement for them to do so. Seat belts save lives. PERIOD!

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