Teen Driver Updates from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

Teen Driver Updates from Secretary of State Ruth Johnson
school buses

School buses are like traffic signals for drivers

It is back-to-school time and if you are driving to and from school, you’ll be sharing the road with school buses doing the same thing. Remember to treat school buses like traffic signals!

  • If a moving or stopped school bus has its yellow hazard warning lights flashing, proceed with caution. 
  • If the bus has its yellow overhead lights flashing, prepare to stop.
  • If its red lights are alternately flashing, by law you must stop no closer than 20 feet from the bus. Proceed when the red lights are turned off and it is safe to do so.
  • It is not necessary to stop for a school bus that has stopped on the other side of a divided highway where the road is separated by a barrier, such as a concrete or grass median, island or other structures that separate the flow of traffic.

Other driving tips:

  • Slow down in or near school or residential areas.
  • Look for clues – such as safety patrols, crossing guards, bicycles and playgrounds – that indicate children might be in the area.
  • Watch for children between parked cars and other objects.
  • Use additional caution in bad weather.

Perform a 5-step test for seat belt safety

kid in back seat

National Child Passenger Safety Week is Sunday, September 17 through Saturday, September 23. 

Improper usage of seat belts causes many injuries and deaths for tweens (ages 8-14). One of the main causes of improper seat belt usage in this age group is that the seat belt may not fit correctly, which can make it uncomfortable for the tween.

A 5-step test can help determine if tween passengers are ready to ride safely without a booster seat. Click here for a video on the 5-step test, and remember that children are safer in the back seat until age 13.  

teen driver website

A new look for Michigan's Teen Driver website 

If you have visited michigan.gov/teendriver lately, you may have noticed some changes. We’ve introduced a rotating carousel of pages and resources at the top of the Teen Driver home page.

All of the individual components previously featured on the home page are still accessible, either by using the carousel or the navigational headings on the left-hand side of the home page.

If you’re looking for previous editions of Teen Driver Updates, you can access the archive by either clicking on the Teen Driving Publications, Forms and Additional Resources image or the navigational heading, and then scrolling down to the Additional Resources section.

Use your signals!

Signaling is a legal requirement and a courtesy. Before stopping, turning or changing lanes, see if it is safe. 

Communicate to other drivers by giving the required signal, either using your left hand and arm, or your vehicles's turn signal. 

Signal at least 100 feet ahead of where you plan to turn. In heavy traffic or on freeways, signal sooner so drivers behind you have time to adjust their speed.

Crash victim's family seeks safer highways

The family of an 18-year-old who lost his life in a Michigan crash is championing safer highways through protective cables on medians and a reduction in distracted driving. 

Read the MLive story