WSR 04-21-021



[ Filed October 13, 2004, 12:02 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-17-132.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 204-74A WAC, Standards for school bus warning lamps.

Hearing Location(s): Washington State Patrol, General Administration Building, Commercial Vehicle Division, Room G3, 210 11th Avenue S.W., Olympia, WA 98504-2600, on November 23, 2004, at 1:00 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: December 20, 2004.

Submit Written Comments to: Ms. Christine Fox, P.O. Box 42614, Olympia, WA 98504-2614, e-mail, fax (360) 586-8233, by November 21, 2004.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Ms. Christine Fox by November 21, 2004, (360) 753-3697.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The current WAC is outdated, and the update is necessary in order to stay current with the changing technology of school bus warning lamp systems.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These revisions to this chapter were created in conjunction with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in order to update the rules since manufacturing of school buses has changed in relation to warning lamps.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.37.290 and 46.37.005.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: Updating this WAC is in accordance with Governor Gary Locke's executive order regarding regulatory improvement.

Name of Proponent: Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, public.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Ms. Christine Fox, Equipment and Standards Unit, P.O. Box 42614, Olympia, WA 98504-2614, (360) 753-3697.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The changes/modifications outlined in the rule are optional and would not significantly impact any small business.

A cost-benefit analysis is required under RCW 34.05.328. A preliminary cost-benefit analysis may be obtained by contacting Ms. Christine Fox, P.O. Box 42614, Olympia, WA 98504-2614, phone (360) 753-3697, fax (360) 586-8233, e-mail

October 7, 2004

Lowell Porter



AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 90-18-047, filed 8/30/90, effective 9/30/90)

WAC 204-74A-040   Eight lamp warning system.   (1) The warning system shall consist of a total of eight lamps, two amber and two red on both the front and the rear of the bus. The lamps shall conform to SAE Standard J887a, J1318 or that standard in effect for such lamps at the time of the manufacture of such lamps.

(2) The warning lamps shall be mounted as high as practicable on the bus body and as near the outside edges of the body as curvature permits. ((Metal)) Shielding shall be provided to protect the lamps from the elements, and the background upon which the lamps are mounted shall be painted black. Such background shall extend a minimum of three inches outward from the lamps.

(3) The amber lamps shall be mounted inboard of the red lamps. All lamps shall be mounted and aimed as specified in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 108 and SAE Standard J887a, and shall be clearly visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet in normal sunlight.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.290 and 46.37.005. 90-18-047, 204-74A-040, filed 8/30/90, effective 9/30/90.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 94-01-179, filed 12/22/93, effective 1/22/94)

WAC 204-74A-050   Operation of lamps.   (1) Operation of the warning lamp system shall be in compliance with FMVSS 108. Activation of the warning lamp sequence shall begin only by means of a manually-operated switch. Such activation will cause the right and left amber lamps to flash alternately until the stop signal arm is extended, or the bus entrance door is opened, at which time the amber lamps shall be automatically deactivated and the right and left red lamps shall be automatically activated. Whenever the warning lamp system has been activated, opening of the entrance door shall automatically deactivate the amber lamps, cause the stop signal arm to extend, and activate the red lamps. Automatic extension of the stop signal arm does not apply to systems equipped with a manually operated stop signal arm. All lamps shall flash at a rate from sixty to one hundred twenty times per minute and shall reach full brilliance during each cycle.

(2) Lamp controls shall consist of:

(a) The master or sequencing switch which shall be in plain view and mounted within easy reach of the driver, and which shall activate the system sequencing and deactivate the system at any time during the sequence.

(b) An override switch which shall automatically activate the red lamps whenever the stop signal arm is extended even though the master control switch is turned off, and which shall automatically deactivate the amber lamps if previously activated regardless of the then present normal state of sequencing or entrance door position. Such override switch shall be designed and installed so as to function with air, vacuum, electric, or manually operated stop signal arms. The stop signal arm shall be capable of being extended at any time, regardless of the position of the entrance door. The opening of the entrance door shall not cause extension of the stop signal arm, or the activation of the red lamps unless the master switch has been activated.

(c) A minimum of two pilot lamps, one amber and one red, each of which shall flash when the like colored warning lamps are in operation. Pilot lamps which show the operation of each individual lamp are permissible. All pilot ((lamps)) indicators shall be located so as to be clearly visible to the driver.

(3) The warning lamp system shall be operated in accordance with the regulations set forth in chapter 392-145 WAC.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.005. 94-01-179, 204-74A-050, filed 12/22/93, effective 1/22/94. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.290 and 46.37.005. 90-18-047, 204-74A-050, filed 8/30/90, effective 9/30/90.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 92-09-050, filed 4/13/92, effective 5/14/92)

WAC 204-74A-060   Additional hazard strobe lamp.   (1) In addition to the eight lamp warning system, each bus may be equipped with a single additional hazard strobe lamp. Such lamps must meet the Class I requirements of SAE Standard J1318, 360 degree gaseous discharge warning lamp.

(2) A clear lens strobe lamp, less than eight inches in height, may be mounted on the centerline of the roof in the rear one-half of the bus. At no time shall the lamp be mounted any closer than six feet from the rear of the bus measured from a vertical plane tangent to the rearmost point of the bus body. If the bus is equipped with a roof hatch falling within the above mentioned measurements, the strobe lamp may be located directly behind the roof hatch.

(3) The hazard strobe lamp will be activated by a switch independent of all other lamp switches. The hazard strobe lamp switch shall be plainly labeled and have a pilot lamp that shall indicate when the lamp is in operation.

(4) The use of a hazard strobe lamp is permitted only when the bus is occupied with school children and one or more of the following conditions exist:

(a) The bus is in motion in inclement, sight obscuring conditions, including but not limited to rain, fog, snow, and smoke;

(b) There is a need to improve the visibility of the bus when stopping, standing, or starting onto a highway;

(c) There is limited visibility caused by geographic hazards such as winding roadways, hills, trees, buildings, etc.

The strobe lamp shall not be activated solely because of darkness.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.290. 92-09-050, 204-74A-060, filed 4/13/92, effective 5/14/92. Statutory Authority: RCW 46.37.290 and 46.37.005. 90-18-047, 204-74A-060, filed 8/30/90, effective 9/30/90.]