Frequently asked questions

FAQs - TS-142 and TS-150

  • These changes will work to improve the safety of school children travelling to and from school in New South Wales.

    This will happen by:

    • Increasing the visibility of the warning system on school buses by expanding the size and contrast of the regulatory signage and the flashing wigwag lights.
    • Introducing a boundary of 100mm under the regulatory ‘WHEN LIGHTS FLASH’ speed limit sign to exclude advertising text or images.
  • The changes mean there are new technical specifications relating to warning signs and lights for school buses. The new requirements for signage and flashing warning commonly known as ‘wigwag’ lights on buses are explained in the following two specifications:

    Technical Specification 142 (TS142): ‘Warning signs and lights for school buses’ (for existing buses) has been updated to introduce a boundary of 100mm under the ‘WHEN LIGHTS FLASH’ and ‘40 km/h’ speed limit signs to exclude advertising text or images.

    This requirement will be introduced 6 months after the release of TS142 (08 August 2018) and will apply from 08 February 2019.

    Technical Specification 150 (TS150): ‘Warning signs and lights for school buses’ (for new buses) is a new specification which has been developed. TS150:

    • Specifies increasing the size and contrast of warning signage
    • Specifies increasing the brightness of the flashing ‘wigwag’ lights
    • Introduces a boundary of 100mm under the ‘WHEN LIGHTS FLASH’ and ‘40 km/h’ speed limit signs to excludes advertising text or images
    • Requires signs to be placed on the bus so that their appearance is not concealed or distorted in any way.

    The new requirements of TS150 will apply to all buses first registered 6 months after the release of TS150 (08 August 2018) and will apply from 08 February 2019.

  • Operators may request buses be constructed to comply with TS150. The Bus Industry Confederation and BusNSW have been consulted and manufacturers are aware of these changes and the need to supply buses to these requirements when requested.
  • These improvements have been introduced to ensure regulatory signs can be clearly seen by approaching motorists, and provide them with sufficient time to slow down and pass safely.
  • TS142 and 150 were released on the 08 August 2018. To allow sufficient time for buses to comply with these new requirements, the technical specifications take effect from 08 February 2019.
  • Operators should seek advice from their vehicle manufacturer or body builder. Operators seeking to purchase a bus to transport school children should advise their manufacturer or vehicle dealer of their need to comply with the relevant technical specifications.
  • Rural and regional operators will need to provide a warranty that the new safety warning lights have been installed and that they comply with the technical specification TS150. They can do this by completing a simple pro forma warranty and sending this through to their TfNSW Contract Manager, together with an invoice for the installation costs.

    In the event a vehicle, which had been advised by the operator as complying with the technical specification, is found to be non-compliant at the first Heavy Vehicle Inspection Scheme (HVIS) inspection after the specification came in to effect (February 2019), a defect notice will be issued to the operator with potential KPI / KPI Credit impacts for Major / Major Grounded Defects.

    Metro and outer metro bus operators can demonstrate their vehicle complies with TS150 at their first HVIS inspection which takes place after the specification come in to effect 08 February 2019.  Should a Metro or Outer Metro bus operator vehicle not comply with TS150, a defect notice will be issued to the operator with potential KPI / KPI Credit impacts for Major / Major Grounded Defects.

    It is the bus operator’s responsibility to ensure their vehicles comply with the relevant technical specifications.

  • The changes have been developed in consultation with the bus industry and draft copies of the technical specifications were published on the Transport for NSW website for public feedback. Following feedback from industry and the public, the technical specifications were amended. The changes have been supported by key stakeholders of the bus industry.
  • The new requirements of TS150 will apply to all applicable buses first registered 6 months after the release of TS150 (08 August 2018) and therefore apply from 08 February 2019.

    TS142 will apply to existing buses in the fleet for 6 months after its release and will therefore apply from 08 February 2019.

  • Yes. Older buses may be improved to comply with TS150. Complying with TS150 is deemed to satisfy the requirements of complying with TS142.
  • The warning lights and signs fitted to your bus fleet may be improved to comply with TS150. Buses first registered 6 months after the release of TS150 (08 February 2019) are required to comply with the requirements of TS150.
  • These specifications are required for any bus that seats over 12 people including the driver, which:

    • Transports school children to or from school on weekdays between the hours of 7.00am and 9.30 am or 2.30pm and 5.00pm; or
    • Is used solely for the purpose of conveying children to or from school.

    The requirements do not apply to a bus:

    • Operating on charter for a school excursion or being used for community service activities; and
    • Where no individual fare is being directly collected or school passes including Opal are used.
  • Buses may be fitted with warning signs and lights. However, the wigwag lights may only flash when the bus:

    • Transports school children to or from school on weekdays between the hours of 7.00am and 9.30 am or 2.30pm and 5.00pm; or
    • Is used solely for the purpose of conveying children to or from school.
  • Yes. The bus route number can be displayed alongside the ‘SCHOOL SPECIAL’ or ‘SCHOOL BUS’ signage. However the route number, ‘SCHOOL SPECIAL’ or ‘SCHOOL BUS’ must not scroll, fade or transition.
  • To avoid distracting other motorists and to provide a clear and permanent message, digital signs that scroll, flash or transition are not allowed.
  • No. The regulatory signs (’WHEN LIGHTS FLASH’ or ‘40km/h’ speed limit) are a prescribed size and are not allowed to be reduced in size to allow advertising to be displayed.
  • All regulatory and safety signs are allowed in Zone 1. These include signs required under contract or law. Examples include: give way, authorised to carry, emergency exit, and route number display signs.
  • The supplier of the wigwag lights should be able to provide advice on the lights they supply and whether they comply with the requirements specified in the technical specifications.
  • Research suggests that advertising instalments contribute to visual clutter which may detract from the visibility and detection of driving-relevant regulatory signs. In addition to visual distraction, advertisements may also result in the driver’s mind being off the road and the task of driving causing the driver to not notice, or respond to, a regulatory sign such as those on the back of buses.

    As a result TS142 and TS150 included a requirement to have an advertisement-free area comprising a boundary that runs the width of the rear of the bus above a horizontal line 100mm from the lowest edge of the ‘40km/h’ or ‘WHEN LIGHTS FLASH’ sign whichever was in the lower position.

    You may still place advertising on the back of your bus but it must not encroach on the area above the 100mm boundary.

  • Existing advertising can be kept until 08 February 2019. However, from 08 February 2019, TS142 and TS150 introduce a boundary of 100mm under the ‘WHEN LIGHTS FLASH’ and ‘40 km/h’ speed limit signs to exclude advertising text or images. Any material added (such as a vinyl wrap) above this boundary must be in either a monochromatic colour scheme or transparent and clear without any colour.
  • The cost of these changes will vary due to a number of factors. Operators should seek advice from their dealer when purchasing a bus.

    Rural and regional contract holders have been provided information in relation to eligibility for funding to retrofit your contract buses. For further information Rural and Regional contract holders are encouraged to contact their contract manager.

  • Contact your manufacturer, dealer or body builder as they would be able to provide a more accurate period time to get these changes made.
  • If you have further questions about your contract, please contact your Contract Manager.

    For further information about the technical specifications, please contact Roads and Maritime Technical Enquires on 1300 137 302.

    For details specific to your bus please contact your dealer.

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