School buses and trucks carrying hazardous material will no longer have to stop at a lightly used railroad crossing on U.S. 77 at Strother Field, between Winfield and Arkansas City — unless a train is approaching or the crossing warning lights or crossing arms are activated. Before the change, buses and trucks have had to stop as a precaution before proceeding even if no train was present.

Under the change, KDOT is installing signs near the crossing soon that say “Exempt.” The signs are intended to signal that those buses and trucks no longer must stop, unless a train is present or warning signs activate. Trains using the crossing are on a relatively lightly traveled section of railroad and are traveling at a reduced speed.

The change is expected to help limit the chance of vehicles crashing into buses or trucks that had previously been required to stop even when no train was present.