2017 - 2018 LEGISLATURE
April 14, 2017 - Introduced by Representatives Pope, Kolste, Allen, Considine,
Crowley, Spreitzer, Subeck, Berceau, Genrich, Ohnstad, Fields and Bowen,
cosponsored by Senators Miller, Risser and Erpenbach. Referred to
Committee on Transportation.
1An Act to amend
346.48 (1), 346.48 (2) (a) 1., 346.48 (2) (a) 2. c., 346.48 (2) (a) 2
3., 346.48 (2) (b) 1., 346.48 (2) (b) 2., 346.48 (2) (c), 346.48 (3) and 349.21 (1) of 3
the statutes; relating to: applicability to private roads and driveways of
4certain rules of the road governing passing school buses.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill extends certain requirements applicable to motorists approaching a
school bus to private roads and driveways.
Current law requires motorists who approach a school bus that is stopped on
a public road and is displaying flashing red lights to stop their approaching vehicle
not less than 20 feet from the bus and to remain stopped until the bus resumes motion
or the bus driver extinguishes the flashing red warning lights. A motorist who
violates this requirement may be required to forfeit not less than $30 nor more than
$300. The owner or lessee of a vehicle that violates these requirements may be held
liable for the violation under this state's “vehicle owner liability" law, under which
a school bus driver who observes a violation may report the violation to police.
This bill extends these stopping requirements to private roads and driveways.
A “private road or driveway" is every way or place in private ownership and used for
vehicular travel only by the owner and those having express or implied permission
from the owner, and every road or driveway upon the grounds of public institutions
(other than public schools) or institutions under the jurisdiction of the county board
of supervisors. Under the bill, any motorist who approaches a school bus that is
stopped on a public road or on a private road or driveway must stop the vehicle not
less than 20 feet from the bus and must remain stopped until the bus resumes motion
or the bus driver extinguishes the flashing red warning lights. The “vehicle owner
liability" law applies to such violations committed on private roads or driveways.
The bill also prohibits a school bus driver from displaying flashing red lights on a
private road or driveway under circumstances where such a display would be
prohibited on a public road.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
346.48 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
The operator of a vehicle which approaches from the front or rear 3
any school bus which has stopped on a street or
highway, or private road or driveway 4
when the bus is equipped according to s. 347.25 (2) and when it is displaying flashing 5
red warning lights, shall stop the vehicle not less than 20 feet from the bus and shall 6
remain stopped until the bus resumes motion or the operator extinguishes the 7
flashing red warning lights. The operator of any school bus which approaches from 8
the front or rear any school bus which has stopped and is displaying flashing red 9
warning lights shall display its flashing red lights while stopped. This subsection 10
does not apply to operators of vehicles proceeding in the opposite direction on a 11
divided highway or divided private road or driveway
346.48 (2) (a) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) 1. Except as provided in par. (b), the operator of a school bus 14
equipped with only flashing red warning lights as specified in s. 347.25 (2) shall 15
actuate the lights at least 100 feet before stopping to load or unload pupils or other 16
authorized passengers, and shall not extinguish the lights until loading or unloading 17
is completed and persons who must cross the highway or private road or driveway 18
are safely across.
346.48 (2) (a) 2. c. of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) 2. c. After loading or unloading is completed and persons who 2
must cross the highway or private road or driveway
are safely across, extinguish the 3
flashing red warning lights.
346.48 (2) (a) 3. of the statutes is amended to read:
(a) 3. Where the curb and sidewalk are laid on one side of the road 6or driveway
only, the operator shall use the flashing red or flashing red and amber 7
warning lights when loading or unloading passengers from either side.
346.48 (2) (b) 1. of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) 1. Special school bus loading areas where the bus is entirely off 10
the traveled portion of the highway or private road or driveway
346.48 (2) (b) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
(b) 2. Residence or business districts when pupils or other authorized 13
passengers are to be loaded or unloaded where a sidewalk and curb are laid on both 14
sides of the road highway or private road or driveway
, unless required otherwise by 15
municipal ordinance enacted under s. 349.21 (1).
346.48 (2) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) When a school bus is being used on a highway or private road or
for purposes other than those specified in s. 340.01 (56) (a) and (am), the 19
flashing red or amber warning lights shall not be used, and all markings on the front 20
and rear of the bus indicating it is a school bus shall be removed or completely 21
concealed; except that any time a motor vehicle is equipped as provided under ss. 22
347.25 (2) and 347.44 and is transporting children for any purpose, the school bus 23
markings may remain unconcealed and the flashing red or amber warning lights 24
may be used as provided in this section and when so used, sub. (1) applies to operators 25
of other motor vehicles.
346.48 (3) of the statutes is amended to read:
If the operator of a motor vehicle overtakes a school bus which is 3
stopped and is loading or unloading pupils or other authorized passengers at an 4
intersection on the right side of a roadway or private road or driveway
in a business 5
or residence district in which the display of the flashing red or amber warning lights 6
on the school bus is not permitted, the operator shall pass at a safe distance to the 7
left of the school bus and shall not turn to the right in front of the school bus at that 8
349.21 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
The governing body of any town, city, village or county may by 11
ordinance provide for the use of flashing red or amber warning lights by school bus 12
operators in a residence or business district when pupils or other authorized 13
passengers are to be loaded or unloaded at a location at which there are no traffic 14
signals and such persons must cross the street or
highway, or private road or
before being loaded or after being unloaded.
(1) This act first applies to motor vehicles operated on the first day of the 5th 18
month beginning after publication.