LD 19
PUBLIC Law, Chapter 413

on - Session - 129th Maine Legislature
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

An Act To Require Newly Purchased Public School Buses To Be Equipped with School Bus Crossing Arms

Emergency preamble. Whereas,  acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and

Whereas,  it is necessary to enact this legislation before model year 2021 school buses become available for purchase to avoid requiring previously purchased school buses to be retrofitted with a school bus crossing arm; and

Whereas,  in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 29-A MRSA §2301, sub-§5-C  is enacted to read:

5-C School bus crossing arm.   "School bus crossing arm" means a device mounted on the front bumper of a school bus that is no shorter than 70 inches and no longer than the width of the school bus and when activated extends outward in front of the school bus to require students who cross the roadway in front of the school bus to maintain a safe distance in front of the school bus.

Sec. 2. 29-A MRSA §2302,   as amended by PL 2003, c. 293, §2, is further amended to read:

§ 2302. School bus markings; lights; mirrors; school bus crossing arms

1. Identifications.   Each school bus:
A. Must be identified with the words, "school bus":

(1) Printed in letters not less than 8 inches high; and

(2) Located between the warning signal lamps as high as possible without impairing front and rear visibility of the lettering;

B. Must have no other lettering on the front or rear, except lettering not more than 4 inches high indicating an emergency exit and a bus number;
C. Must be painted national school bus glossy yellow, except that the hood may be lusterless black;
D. Must have bumpers of glossy black unless painting is impracticable through use of rubber, reflective material or other devices;
E. Must be equipped with a system of signal lights that conform to school bus requirements approved by the Commissioner of Education;
F. Must be equipped with a system of mirrors that give the seated operator a view of the way to each side of the bus, and of the area immediately in front of the front bumper;
G. May be equipped with a system of stop arms to be operated only with the red signal lights; and
H. May be equipped with reflective strips of national school bus yellow.
1-A School bus crossing arms.   A school bus of model year 2021 or newer must be equipped with a school bus crossing arm.
3. Other purposes.   A school bus permanently converted wholly to other purposes must be painted a color other than national school bus glossy yellow and have the words "school bus," school bus signal lights and stop arms removed.
4. Other passengers.   A school bus operated on a public way and transporting passengers who do not include school-age persons must have the words "school bus" removed or concealed and the school bus signal lamps may not be operable.
5. Application.   A vehicle operated on a public way displaying the words "school bus" or with the equipment required by this section may only be used to transport school-age persons, as defined in section 2301.

Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.

Effective 90 days following adjournment of the 129th Legislature, First Regular Session, unless otherwise indicated.

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