Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Watch, I will get a ticket for this

I can feel it now. I will get a letter in the mail stating I failed to obey a flashing red light and have to pay a fine.

If so, it will be total bullshit! And I will say so in court. If it gets to that.

As I left work today, I made a left onto the 4 lane boulevard. A school bus had just turned right onto the same road. It drove in the curb lane maybe half a block with it's flashing red lights on. I passed the bus two lanes over as it was still moving. As I did, I heard the driver lay on the horn. Was it for me? It had to be.

But I say I didn't break a law. Here is the law from the Wisconsin DOT. It reads:
A vehicle that approaches a stopped school bus that is displaying flashing red
warning lights, must stop not less than 20 feet from the bus and remain stopped
until the bus resumes motion or the operator extinguishes the flashing red
warning lights. Failure to do so could result in a fine between $30 and $300.
This law does not apply to vehicles driving in the opposite direction on a
divided highway but does apply if no barrier is present on multi-lane street or

When I was passing the bus, it was not stopped. It was still moving. It did not have it's stop signs extended on the side. The law doesn't say I need to stop simply because the flashing red lights are on. Any driver could put those on blocks away to keep the kids safe. Furthermore, by the time I was passing the bus, I had to be doing 30 mph. Was I suppose to slam on my brakes? There was one whole lane between me and the bus. No kid was going to dart out and run across. Kid would have to be a stunt person to jump from a moving bus.

But if I am not mistaken, the bus driver does have the ability to note my license plate number and report it to the authorities who could issue me a citation. I better not receive one because some overzealous driver can have a loose interpretation of the law.

And don't get me wrong. It is a good law meant to protect the kids. But where was this kid going to go after they got off of the bus? Down the street where the door opened. It is the only residential street in the area. On the other side of the street is a bar. Unless the kid was going to cross 4 lanes of highway traffic to go knock a couple drinks down to unwind from a hard day in the 4th grade, they had no reason to go in front of my car.

All I know is I better not get ticketed for not breaking a law.

This morning I check my phone to see I missed a dial-a-shot with Al and Big Mike. Yeah, my phone sucks. I am probably going to be removed from the list for having a crap-ass phone. Guess I will have to go on the offensive to make up for this.


Anonymous said...

I would'nt worry about the bus driver. They never get the plate right when they report it. Besides you got a good case. If you do get a citation in the mail, make sure you take pictures of the scene, before you go to court. So the Judge won't have to picture the area in his head.

djw said...

how is a picture of the scene going to show if the bus was stopped or not?!?