I passed a stopped school bus.

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by lovebeingteach, Mar 9, 2012.

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  1. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    So, I am obviously a teacher. On the way home from school today I accidentally passed a stopped school bus. This jerk was following me too close from behind and I looked back to see what his problem was. Before I knew it, I saw a bus with the stop sign out and flashing lights on. It was too late for me to stop! I have 2 questions. Can I get a ticket for this, and can I get fired for this if I do get a ticket?

    I am so ashamed. I feel terrible! I could have killed a kid!!!! UGH!!!! I am in tears.
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Do you mean that the bus driver got your license tag number? Or the driver of the other car?
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Yes, you can get a ticket for that. I don't think you'll get fired for it, though.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    You won't get a ticket without documented filmed evidence. I speed almost every day and don't even think about it.
     
  6. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    I am not sure whether either vehicle got my tag #......
     
  7. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I think you would know if you were getting a ticket.

    And I no, I don't think you would get fired.

    As a cyclist, I often wonder what would happen if I cruised by on my bicycle. I always stop or dismount and run the length of the bus and jump back on. Stopping puts me in a rather precarious position on a busy street.
     
  8. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Some buses in some places have cameras on the outside that activate when the stop signals come on just so that they can catch vehicles that pass illegally.
     
  9. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    My assistant (who is a bus driver) said that they do have cameras. I am so scared!!!! I can't relax at all. Getting fired would be extreme, but I was just wondering if this would be considered putting students in danger.

    Oh, and to clarify, this incident happened in a different county than where I work. Otherwise, she would handle it for me. :cool:

    My county has this computer program where they can find out as soon as you get a ticket. I can't even imagine! I am so embarrassed.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Let it go for now. Have a good weekend.
     
  11. KinderCowgirl

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    I got a ticket for that once-it was a 4-lane divided road but I guess where I passed there was a gap in the median. I still think I could have fought it. I was teaching at the time-it didn't affect anything. I can't see it even coming up unless you are transporting kids as part of your duties.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Is there anything in your teaching contract about getting a ticket? If not, I don't think that you are able to be fired for this.
     
  13. lovebeingteach

    lovebeingteach Companion

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    Well, I teach in a state where we do not have unions. So, technically we can be fired for any reason. It's not like they are trying to get rid of me or anything, but I am still nervous. A teacher got fired last year for getting a DUI. To clarify, no, I do not transport kids as part of my job.
     
  14. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    You made me laugh out loud. I once worked with an older lady
    who was the quintessential school marm. She was so straight laced and proper it was scary. But everyday she passed us in her big old Oldsmobile going hell bent for leather.
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Anybody else get bothered by school buses that stop on major roads. Where I grew up school buses only stopped on residential streets. Where I am at now, they will stop anywhere. If it is a 4 lane major road with a yellow turning lane in the middle, there is no reason for traffic on the other side to stop for that bus. Some cars on the opposite side continue on, some stop. I don't think there is any reason to stop for that.
     
  16. bandnerdtx

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    In Texas, you don't have to stop if you're on the other side of the 4 lane road. You just have to slow down, and even that's not clearly defined.

    To the OP, I don't think you'll get ticketed or fired. I'd be surprised if the bus driver did any more than mildly curse you under his/her breath. Relax! :hugs:
     
  17. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    There's a bus stop on my bike route to work. 4 lane street, maybe 40-45 mph traffic.

    On my bike, I'm supposed to stop. If I don't stop, I'm breaking the law, even though the bus is loading and there's no reason a child would be passing in front of it, as there are no houses on the other side of the street.

    But if I do stop, I'm in a very exposed position when the driver retracts the sign, and cars that were going to stop, suddenly speed up to get around the bus so they don't get stuck behind it. Hopefully, they'll see me.

    Often, I use it as a chance to practice my cyclocross dismount and run the length of the bus and hop back on my bike without stopping. Legally, once I'm off my bike I'm technically a pedestrian and can proceed past the bus.

    That way, I'm back on the road and moving again while the cars are still stopped.
     
  18. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I think it is wrong that there is even a "bus stop" on a road that size. If there is nobody in front of me that stops, I don't stop if it is on the other side of that road.
    I also get quite bothered by people who slow down in school zone areas way before school starts. Yes, the signs are out there, but the people put them out there when they get to work, not when the technical time is for them to be put out. It is one hour before school starts. Before that, just drive normal there are no kids around.
     
  19. DrivingPigeon

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    I think you'll be fine. :)

    A school bus once stopped and turned its lights on just as I was about to pass it (going in the opposite direction). If I were to stop, I would have had to SLAM on my breaks, while going 40 MPH. The bus driver beeped at me. I also had a parent shake their fist at me during a similar incident.
     
  20. Cerek

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    Busses often stop on major highways because that is where the kids live. What is the district supposed to do? Say "I'm sorry, we can't pick your kids up because you live on a major highway and the other drivers will get ticked off if they have to stop". Sorry, that's too bad.

    In fact, my old district had to consolidate some stops due to rising gas prices, which means having kids meet in more accessible areas.....like on a major highway.

    As for passing the bus, if it is a divided highway (with a median or even a turning lane), then traffic going the other direction does NOT have to stop. If there is no divider between the 4 lanes, then traffic in ALL directions MUST stop.

    It is very difficult for bus drivers to get the license of cars that pass them. So the GA school district where my sons go have a police officer follow the bus on each route. We were coming home a few weeks ago when a driver going the other direction passed the stopped school bus. The officer following the bus did an immediate U-turn and went after the offender. That way, the bus driver doesn't have to divert his/her attention away from the kids and the person passing the school bus still gets the ticket....and, yes, you CAN get a ticket for passing a stopped school bus.

    In North Carolina, passing a stopped school bus is considered the WORST moving violation you can commit. One ticket for passing a stopped bus adds 8 points to your license. For comparison, reckless driving and illegal passing are only worth 5 points each. If you get 12 points in 3 years, NC can suspend your license. Points also increase your insurance premiums for 3 years (even if you get the point removed from your license, the insurance company will often still charge the higher premium for the full 3 years).

    While mistakes happen, passing a stopped school bus is generally considered one of the most serious offenses a driver can commit.
     
  21. Good Doobie

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    I used to drive school bus in NY. Everytime a car passed I was supposed to try to write down the license and report it. Then I think the school or police sent a letter of warning to the driver.
     
  22. MissCeliaB

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    I'm still wondering how long you were looking back that you didn't notice a school bus there. I just don't understand how, if you were giving driving your full attention, this could happen.
     
  23. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    And what if you are on a bicycle?
     
  24. teachin4ever

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    I think we've ALL made mistakes, especially when driving. I know that I passed a stopped school bus once on my way home. The road is four lanes and I was in the far left lane while the bus was in the far right lane. I honestly don't pay a whole lot of attention to what goes on in the far right lane, and didn't realize until I looked in my rear view mirror that a bus had just stopped.

    I wouldn't beat myself up over it. You made a mistake, you obviously feel bad about it and know it was a mistake, and probably will make extra care to be on the lookout for buses in the future. :)
     
  25. lovebeingteach

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    I think they need to have BUS STOPS again, instead of stopping right in the middle of a busy road. ugh!
     
  26. JustMe

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    It seems it would be incredibly difficult to get four lanes of traffic to stop.

    A close family member was hit by someone who didn't stop while she was getting on the bus. She survived.

    As to your situation, I think you'll be fine.
     
  27. TeacherNY

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    How can the bus driver watch the kids getting on/off the bus AND have time to write down license plates?
     
  28. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    If the rule/law is that cars on the opposite side of a four lane road with a middle turning lane do not have to stop then that is good. Sadly, not all drivers know what is and is not required. If people in front of you stop and they do not have to, then you get screwed over.
    Even in neighborhoods now, the way they are set up with main driving routes it is a pain. Growing up if I get behind a bus in a neighborhood it was easy to just turn down the next street and try to beat the bus down the road before they made their turn and you could get ahead of the bus. With the new neighborhood designs, not really possible.
     
  29. Pisces_Fish

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    Here in NC it's big deal to pass a bus, but you haven't gotten a ticket so far, so I'd let it go for now. Worry IF it happens! Besides, I think a judge would go easy on you, considering your profession and the situation!
     
  30. Shanoo

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    Here, school buses have cameras and the fine is $750 for passing a school bus with it's red lights flashing.

    Every year, we have bus evacuation drills. 3 or 4 school buses come and we run our kids through the drill. Our bus lane was, unfortunately, the side of the road. At one point, all the buses had their red lights flashing (as kids got on - they turned them off when they were giving their instruction) and a car passed all 4 of them. That man was looking at $3000 in fines.

    That said, I highly doubt you would get fired over a fine.
     
  31. Cerek

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    If a school created designated bus stops, they are going to place them where it is easy for the bus and parents to both access...which would likely be on the main road.

    The average bus stop lasts less than 2 minutes. If your commute schedule is so tight that 2 minutes will mess it up, you should be leaving earlier anyway - which will likely put you ahead of the bus. :)
     
  32. Cerek

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    Exactly how will you be "screwed over" if the car in front of you stops? Because you will lose 2 minutes (at most) from your transit time? Again, leave the house a little earlier if 2 minutes will really mess up your commute time that much.

    If it is a matter of being "screwed over" because you just don't like having to wait 30 seconds to 2 minutes....oh well. You're an adult. If you haven't learned to have patience by now, it's a good time to start.

    Busses run at the same time every day. If you don't want to be behind the bus, leave in time to be in front of it.
     
  33. Cerek

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    In North Carolina, the bicycle has the legal status of a vehicle. This means that bicyclists have full rights and responsibilities on the roadway and are subject to the regulations governing the operation of a motor vehicle.
    North Carolina traffic laws require bicyclists to:

    * Ride on the right in the same direction as other traffic
    * Obey all traffic signs and signals

    Source: NCDOT


    That means you stop for a school bus just like the cars do. The "running stop" you mentioned earlier will likely get you the same ticket a car would get for passing the bus because you could still hit one of the kids as you go running by.
     
  34. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    No, I am not a patient person, especially not in the morning. I know that busses run at the same time everyday, but I don't leave at the same time everday so sometimes I am ahead of them and sometimes I am not. I still believe that bus stops should be put in place to make an effort not to inconvenience other drivers on the road.
     
  35. swansong1

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    Not trying to be too morbid, but I certainly hope a child that you teach is never injured/killed by some impatient jerk (not talking about you) who doesn't take a stopped school bus seriously...wherever that bus stops.
     
  36. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I take them seriously, but I am quite bothered by them. Where they are today compared to where they were when I was growing up, just different. And there is a difference between an impatient driver and a bad driver.
     
  37. Cerek

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    The primary consideration for bus stops is the convenience of the children, not the convenience of other drivers. Grown-ups are expected to either accept the safety of the children are more important or anticipate the disruption to their commute and plan accordingly.

    I generally leave the house within 5 minutes of the same time every morning. If I knew I would be behind a bus if I left at a specific time, then I would definitely leave 5 minutes earlier to make sure I was ahead of the bus.
     
  38. JustMe

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    I have to say, few things get at me as much as being behind a bus when it's making stops. And here's why: Over and over, parents take their sweet time saying goodbye and getting the children on the bus. Or they talk to the driver. Or run back in get a forgotten bookbag. And the older children walk as slow as molasses...I guess it would be uncool to put a little pep in their step? It just kills me...kills me, I tell you! It's terribly inconsiderate. Of course, I really base this on one road I where I sometimes get behind a bus. Normally I leave too early to meet any. Thankfully. :)
     
  39. Cerek

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    Hmmmmm.....well, I've been driving school bus routes for 3 years now and I rarely see any of that. More often than not, the parent isn't even at the stop unless their child is very young or they have driven them down to meet the bus. I think I MIGHT have had 1 parent tell me anything while their child was getting on or off the bus. Forgotten backpacks, books, lunches etc do happen sometimes if the stop is right in front of the home, but it is still rare. Remember that the kids have likely been waiting on the bus for at least 5-10 minutes before it arrived, so parents have had plenty of time to make sure they have everything and to run it out to them if they don't.

    I understand how frustrating it it can be to find yourself behind a bus when you want to get to work. I imagine the fact you're in a hurry makes it seem like each stop is taking much longer than it actually does. As I said before, most stops last less than 2 minutes. In fact, unless there are several kids getting on at one stop, I would say most stops last less than 1 minute and perhaps are as fast as 30 seconds (from the time the STOP sign actually comes out till the doors close and you can proceed).

    Just for the heck of it, the next time you get behind the bus, look at your watch to see just how long the BUS is sitting still at each stop (your wait might be a few seconds longer if the car(s) in front of you don't start as soon as the bus does). I'm betting it will be much shorter than you realize. ;)
     
  40. JustMe

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    I never said I was in a hurry. And I realize the stops are not minutes long (except at the daycare...), so it's more a matter of a complete lack of acknowledgment of drivers behind the bus. This road I mention has many stops in less than a mile...it's a lot of wait time, and the issues I mentioned already become frustrating. And I didn't imply that my experiences are the same as others, but they are my experiences behind the bus...talkative parents, slow kids. Not making this stuff up.

    I just want a parent to shew a child for once and for the bus driver to holler at the slow-moving teen, "Let's get a move on!"
     
  41. dgpiaffeteach

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    I will say I hate getting behind a bus when they wait for the kid. The parent waves from the house that little Joey is running late and so the bus just sits and sits and sits and waits. I've had this happen a couple times in the last month or so. One time I started to time it and it was at least 6 minutes. I think that buses shouldn't wait for the kids :whistle:

    Normally I don't mind buses except that they drive slower than I want to. It's not the stopping so much as the fact that they want to drive 45 in a 55 :lol:
     
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