Ask Trooper Steve: What’s the deal with strobe lights atop school buses?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions about rules of the road

ORLANDO, Fla.News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trooper Steve on Tuesday was asked, “What is the purpose of the white flashing strobe on top of a school bus? I’ve heard through friends that this indicates whether or not children are on board.”

“Although I love the possible answer of the reasoning behind the white strobe light, that is not the case,” he said.

School buses have a variety of safety equipment installed throughout the vehicle, from a stop arm bar that comes out from the front to multiple styles of flashing lights.

Trooper Steve said school buses have had a white flashing strobe light on top since around 1983.

“Florida is an ever-changing state when it comes to our weather, so things can be a little unpredictable. Also, schools can start fairly early when times are of low visibility. The flashing white strobe is an extra visibility warning in times of darkness or low visibility like fog,” he said.

If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, email him at

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About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.