WHY IN SUCH A DARN HURRY?
It seems like a lot has been made over an earlier Facebook post regarding the prospect of losing one’s drivers license for being so stupid as to pass a school bus while it is stopped to load and unload children. Many have asked questions such as “What if it’s a four-lane road and the bus is clear on the other side of the street?” “What if its my mother-in-law getting off of the bus?”, “What if I have to pee?”, and such.
One of these questions is answered in Title 47 Okla. Stat. §11-705 .C as follows:
The driver of a vehicle upon a highway with separate roadways need not stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway or when upon a controlled access highway and the school bus is stopped in a loading zone which is a part of or adjacent to such highway and where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.
Well, here you have it. You have just read the only exception to the rule. The mere fact that a road consists of four or more lanes does NOT excuse you from failing to stop and does NOT excuse you from proceeding on prior to the deactivation of the buses loading signals. If the highway is not divided into separate roads, then do not pass or overtake a school bus loading or unloading children while the loading signals are activated.
I can’t figure for the life of me why someone would consider their personal schedule more important than the safety of children. Here’s a simple tip: Leave Early. Take into account the unknown yet inevitable delays that are part of every task or trip. This can save you from not only a traffic ticket with license suspension, but a potential manslaughter charge if the worst should happen. So, whatever you have to go to, leave early, slow the heck down, and don’t do obviously stupid things like passing buses loading and unloading kids.
Now, despite the above warnings, things do happen. If you have been cited for the offense of Meeting or Overtaking a School Bus (or Church bus), and you value your drivers license, there is good reason to hire a lawyer – we may be able save your license despite your lapse in judgment. And, yes, cops do make mistakes and give tickets to drivers who have committed no offense. Call me, we’ll figure it out.