Stopping for School Buses

This means stop.

This means stop.

Let’s begin this week’s Friday blogging exercise with a little traffic safety review for you drivers. According to Maine Revised Statutes for Motor Vehicles, under Title 29-A,  §2308: Overtaking and passing school buses, it reads as follows:

  1. Stopping. The operator of a vehicle on a way, in a parking area or on school property, on meeting or overtaking a school bus from either direction when the bus has stopped with its red lights flashing to receive or discharge passengers, shall stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus. The operator may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or until signaled by the school bus operator to proceed.
  1. Penalty. A violation of this section is a Class E crime which, notwithstanding Title 17-A, section 1301, is punishable by a $250 minimum fine for the first offense and a mandatory 30-day suspension of a driver’s license for a 2nd offense occurring within 3 years of the first offense.

 Most of you are probably wondering, “why is Jim turning the JBE into a blog on traffic safety and rules of the road?” What? Did you not see the WMTW-8 report by Katie Thompson, on idiot drivers passing stopped school buses in Cumberland? I guess those high-end, tony suburbs aren’t attracting civic-minded types any longer. No, just rich schmucks with “get the hell out of my way” attitudes that are always riding up on my ass when I’m simply driving the speed limit on rural backroads like Route 9, coming back from points south and headed back to the compound in Durham.

You would think with all the lip service being paid to “the children,” giving them better athletic fields, state-of-the-art schools, and all the other poppycock that gets bantered about regarding higher taxes and contributing to our “future,” these very same people, once behind the wheels of their 5,000 pound hunks of steel, would also value the safety of these very same “children.”

But instead, it’s more of the same kind of boorish behavior, lumped in with running red lights and texting while driving. It appears that we’ve become characters in a dystopian novel, ala A Clockwork Orange, or something Ray Bradbury would have written. For all our moral posturing and political correctness, we obviously care little about one another.

I’m not sure what’s at the root of any of this. Clearly, however, it’s just one more example of our societal spiral downward.

One thought on “Stopping for School Buses

  1. You prompted a thought experiment. In most of the world, there are no school buses. Get your own ass to school. But here we have the Educational Industrial Complex (single largest government employer in the country), and so we will have buses. In England they contract buses from local bus companies, but they remain private buses. As such, there is no “safe space” around them, and children are taught from the get-go to stay on the sidewalk, don’t walk in front of the bus, and for God’s sake look out for traffic when you cross the road. Perhaps we set children up by creating the illusion that they are in a safe space, even as the 5,000 lb behemoths driven by jerks come speeding by.

    This isn’t entirely hypothetical. Shortly before we arrived in England, two American boys were killed near another base because, despite being told otherwise, they brought their American mindset with them and walked into the road from in front of the bus.

    Assholes in high speed tanks are still the problem, no doubt, but maybe we’d do better to emphasize to children that every car on that road is trying to kill them, including the bus, and change our traffic arrangements accordingly. The government isn’t big enough and there aren’t enough cops to protect them from the assholes all the time.

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