PSA: School bus laws

Discussion in 'Esther's Follies' started by OrangeChipper, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. OrangeChipper

    OrangeChipper 1,000+ Posts

    Allow me to rant.

    Everyday i get behind buffoons who stop for school buses when they don't have to. Maybe a PSA on when you have to and when you DON'T have to will be helpful for everyone.

    In a neighborhood with the standard one way streets. YES... you have to stop

    In any circumstance where its 4 lanes or less WITH NO MEDIAN... YES you have to stop.

    If there is a 5th lane... also known as a cheat lane... YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STOP IF YOU ARE GOING THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. Did you really think the busdriver would have the kid cross 4 lanes on a 55 mph road? Common sense people.

    If there is no 5th lane, but there is a median. (trees and such). YOU DO NOT HAVE TO STOP IF YOU ARE GOING THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION.

    If you disobey the law they hit you hard... so I guess that's why everyone is a pansy right now. The fines can double... so pay attention. But COME ON. Use your head. Don't stop traffic on a 55mph road just because 4 lanes away from you in the opposite direction a school bus is stopping.

    PS: All those circumstances would be illegal if you live in
    * Alabama
    * Arkansas
    * Mississippi
    * New York State
    * West Virginia

    Finally, if i've misinterpreted any of this... correct me please.
  2. Perham1

    Perham1 2,500+ Posts

  3. bierce

    bierce 1,000+ Posts



    TXSNOS 1,000+ Posts

  5. accuratehorn

    accuratehorn 10,000+ Posts

    You haven't cleared it up for me, and there are times I don't know whether it is OK to pass a school bus or not. I know I am not alone.
    What constitutes the so-called "clear sign" you are not to pass? Now they have a police-like revolving light on top, they have flashing back lights that sometimes stay on when they are not stopped, and the only sure way I know means stop, the "stop" sign the driver swings out when they are about to stop.
    Then sometimes they sit there for some indeterminant amount of time yakking with parents or the kids, with traffic building up behind them, and sometimes the stop sign is swung back in and the driver waves you by, which I appreciate, but other times the stop sign is not out, but the flashing brake lights are on, and they are just sitting there, stuff like that.
    It does get confusing, and I not only don't want to hit any school kids, but also don't want a $2000 fine for passing at the wrong time.
    A lot of times it isn't clear, that's the bottom line. So don't get mad when cars stop-they don't know if they should or not.
  6. HornBud

    HornBud 2,500+ Posts

    What it boils down to is this:

    If the oncoming traffic can cross into your lane without tearing up their automobile, stop.
  7. longtex

    longtex Guest

    Alpine does not have anything approaching universal bussing. We used to have students from Terlingua, nearly 100 miles away, get on the bus at 4:30 or 5:00 AM every morning to come to school, but thanks to a bottomless supply of taxpayers' pocket money, we now have a separate school system "down south" with about a hundred students, K-12, and its very own Superintendent with a measly $154,000 a year salary. I'm not sure where the dividing line is between that and Alpine ISD, but somewhere along Hiway 118, and ranchers north of that line will have their kids on the Yella Dawg Bus Lines... I'm fairly sure I've driven by buses that have pulled off into a rancher's gateway area to let kids on or off and not turned on their signs.

    I live across the street from the grade school, so I see school buses numerous times per day, Monday through Friday, and they are often sitting at the curb, engines running, and lights blinking, for ten or fifteen minutes - sometimes longer - at a time, with no one getting on or off. Unless the "STOP" sign is displayed, no one stops.

    I notice that the above-quoted section of the law apparently requires you to be a mind reader, since it doesn't define or describe any signal that a student is to be let on or off. I assume (always dangerous) that there is a definition and description elsewhere that specifically references the "STOP" sign and flashers.

    Later: I asked the local JP, who said he thinks (? doesn't KNOW?) that they have to have the stop sign displayed as well as lights flashing - there are special red lights on the fronts of school buses, anyway, and I think there are the same kind of flashing STOP lights other than the brake/turn lights on the back, too. He said he thinks there's just one switch that starts the flashers and flips out the sign at the same time.
  8. bierce

    bierce 1,000+ Posts

  9. longtex

    longtex Guest

    There you have it, then. The JP "thought" correctly, apparently. If the lights aren't flashing and the STOP sign isn't displayed, you aren't required to stop. That's not to say you oughtn't to take care and make sure the driver hasn't screwed up and maybe there are kids around, but... well, you get the idea.

    If the lights and signals are flashing / showing, whether you have to stop or not depends on some other things having to do with where the bus is and whether there's a barrier in the middle of the road that you'd have to smack before you hit the bus...

    We don't have anything like that anywhere around here (other than ranch entrances, which didn't seem to be covered, unless they're "other" roads), so it's not an issue. Hell, the closest place I can see a traffic light change color is around 75 miles, and next closest place after that is in another country (for now).
  10. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

  11. OrangeBlooded

    OrangeBlooded 500+ Posts


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