It's enough to make your blood boil. Careless drivers driving right a stopped school bus. The results of such a mistake can be tragic. How often does it happen? It's probably correct to say one time is too often.

A study from six years ago in Grand Ledge found 143 violations immediately after cameras were installed on six district school buses.

So, what can be done. Well, in the state of Maine, they've begun retro-fitting school buses with extended stop sign arms. "The extended arm folds out to a whopping 6-foot span, dwarfing the previous 18" sign by a long shot and practically barricading the road from impatient drivers itching to pass on the left," according to a story of

From a News Center Maine report, here's what the extended arms look like:

News Center Maine via YouTube
News Center Maine via YouTube

In the news story, it says the cost is approximately $2000 per bus, which, for a bigger school district, could be an expensive proposition, but also in the report, it says since the installation of these extended stop sign arms, violations have dropped dramatically.

"Under the current law, motorists must come to a complete stop at least 20 feet from a school bus whenever a bus is stopped and employing the use of its red flashing signals... Those who pass stopped school buses may be charged with civil infractions carrying a civil fine of between $100 and $500 an up to $100 in costs." -

So the question is, should we be, at the very least, thinking about installing these extended stop sign arms here in Southwest Michigan?

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