School Bus - How Wrong Am I???



3_days

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Jul 13, 2005
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I'm not innocent when it comes to being impatient during a ride- I'll admit that up front. Like most or all of us, I hate having the tempo of a ride repeatedly broken up for any reason. So, to purposely avoid this, I make it a point to ride in spots where the likelihood of stoppages is almost a non-issue.

Until today ...

I ended up behind a school bus in a nice residential area where I ride frequently- The bus stopped, I stopped behind it and waited - one kid got off! Two houses down, the bus stopped again - I stopped again, one kid got off.

This happened twice more and I had it - I put my head on a swivel, hit up the sidewalk on the opposite side and breezed the bus (I know, it's not cool!).

Obviously annoyed, the bus driver blasts the horn repeatedly. After yet another stop, the driver guns the bus to catch me from behind. Mind you, after pulling down the road well ahead of the bus, I'm doing 25 mph in a 25mph zone and he's catching up to me at probably closer to 40mph.

I eventually lost him through a couple of tighter intersections.

Was I really that awful? and wouldn't you guys/girls have had enough after the 4th 100 yard sprint?

I mean, I remember when kids walked to bus stops and all got picked up in one general area ... rather than delivered door to door.

At any rate, sorry to vent, but be aware of the road raged, school bus drivers in your neighborhood
 

mattjf

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Jul 31, 2005
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I live in a suburb of DC. We have to contend with Metro busses. Every one of my rides usually ends up with a sprint against a Metro bus. They stop every couple hundred yards. Very annoying.

-Matt
 

huhenio

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Dismount. Pass the bus walking. Mount and pedal away.

Pedestrians need not to yield to school bus at a full stop.

And please do report the speeding school bus.
 

cydewaze

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Some might think that was awful, but not me.

When I was in school, we all had to actually walk to a predetermined bus stop. But these days, at least where I live, that's no longer the case. I commute to work via a 2-lane road, and if you get caught behind a school bus, you immediately call in 30 min late to work.

The school busses stop in front of EVERY house with a kid, EVEN if two kids live next door to each other. So not only is this creating a massive traffic back-up, it also means these kids are getting even less exercise.

Sometimes the stops are so close, the bus doesn't even close its door. It just rolls forward to the next house, lights still flashing. If I think I'm going to get caught behind one, I stop at the store, and grab a hot chocolate and relax.
 

scotty72

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Jul 10, 2005
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Oh, it is not just here then that kids are to precious, afraid of being molested, will melt in the sun or get skin cancer etc. to walk a half mile? There are a million excuses.

I'm a school teacher who is amased that kids I know live one or two streets away from school are dropped off by mum in a 4wd monster truck.

My school is about a half mile from the train station. Yes, you guessed it, many of them take the bus to the station, get a train to double-back one stop and then end up about a mile from where they started.

All subsidised by the idiot taxpayer.

I ride my bike 10 miles each way to that school. Not a single kid (out of 1100) does rides the mile or two (or less) to school.

A very sick, sad society.

Scotty
 

TX101

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Aug 2, 2005
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Are school busses in some way special in the US? ie. What happens when you're behind it in a car and it stops, can you move to the other lane (after yielding to traffic of course) and overtake? Is the law that you cannot for any reason overtake a school bus (or any other kind of bus)?

Here in London (UK), we have bus lanes and cyclists can legally ride in the bus lane (along with Taxis). If I approach a bus stopped at a stop, I'll slow down if it looks like it's just about to leave, but if there's a big queue to get on, I can squeeze past in the same lane. You frequently play leapfrog with busses between stops, but sometimes you can manage to lose them in traffic. It's just part of the commuting "experience".

I don't understand why the driver would get ****** off though... What else are you supposed to do?
 

HenryLaRoy

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"According to NISMART-2 research, which studied the year 1999, an estimated 797,500 children were reported missing; 58,200 children were abducted by nonfamily members; 115 children were the victims of the most serious, long-term nonfamily abductions called "stereotypical kidnappings"; and 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions."
 

huhenio

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It is a different world today. I rode my bike foldable 20 inch tire bike to school. That was a workout. But that was the late 70's and early 80's, a very different story.
A few years ago drove by the school again - affluent catholic school (that explains my atheism) - and I was amazed with the 300 meter long SUV lines waiting to drop the kids. That was before kidnappings became popular.
It's a status thing.
When I was a kid, your parents drove you if
a) It was raining and streets might be a little flooded.
b) bus strike
c) flat tire on bike
d) everybody in the house slept in!
Not just because. Notice that parents that pick up their kids have priority over the kids that are bused to school. Meaning not only that the kids that are being bused have less "status" than their "chauffered" driven counterparts, but also it takes them more time. I understand that sometimes the schoolbus might take one hour for a 30 minute drive, but those kids get a lot homework done in one hour!! ... all their homework!

Enough on busing ... now dismount and go around. Also, know the bus schedule: You might want to know what time particular buses are all out in your area. Or do what I do: LEAVE EARLIER!!!
 

scotty72

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HenryLaRoy said:
"According to NISMART-2 research, which studied the year 1999, an estimated 797,500 children were reported missing; 58,200 children were abducted by nonfamily members; 115 children were the victims of the most serious, long-term nonfamily abductions called "stereotypical kidnappings"; and 203,900 children were the victims of family abductions."
So in other words, the chances of a child being randomly plucked off the street are quite remote. It is more than 10 times more likely that a trusted family member will do the crime or it is a case of kid runs off without telling mum.

I wonder how many times more kids are injured in motor accidents?

I know that 2500 kids were killed in auto accidents in the US in 2003.
I saw an estimate that about 100,000 US kids sustain serious, non-fatal injuries from auto-accidents per year.

115 kids in stereotypical abductions Vs 100,000 serious injuries and 2,500 deaths from cars.

See how dangerous driving your kids to school is compared to letting them walk or ride? Not to mention condemning them to a lifetime's obesity.


Scotty
 

huhenio

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scotty is correct.

13 ton school bus vs 3 ton hummer .... guess who wins
 

scotty72

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huhenio said:
It is a different world today. I rode my bike foldable 20 inch tire bike to school. That was a workout. But that was the late 70's and early 80's, a very different story.
A few years ago drove by the school again - affluent catholic school (that explains my atheism) - and I was amazed with the 300 meter long SUV lines waiting to drop the kids. That was before kidnappings became popular.
It's a status thing.
When I was a kid, your parents drove you if
a) It was raining and streets might be a little flooded.
b) bus strike
c) flat tire on bike
d) everybody in the house slept in!
Not just because. Notice that parents that pick up their kids have priority over the kids that are bused to school. Meaning not only that the kids that are being bused have less "status" than their "chauffered" driven counterparts, but also it takes them more time.
I don't think it is a really different world, just a world with a far more immediate and sensational media. Eg. WWI or II weren't wonderfully bloodless wars compared to the current Iraq situation. The blanket media coverage gives us the outrage. I'm sure if our parents and grand-parents had CNN then, they too may have felt disgusted, as some today feel.

Like you, I had to walk the 2/3 mile to my primary school and then the 1/3 mile to my high school. If it rained, mum gave me an umbrella. We walked in groups - unless we'd had a fight, then you walked 50 yards behind. We actually knew the neighbours.

My current school fronts onto a narrow road. The main reason the buses are held up is because idiot parents in 4WDs hold them up. They park (or double park) in bus areas (or drop off areas), they block driveways, crosswalks and side streets. Then, rather than circle the block, they try to squeeze in a 3 point turn (which inevitably becomes a 9 point turn).

Anyway, I'll stop the rant and simply state that most of the problems faced around schools that parents complain about are caused by the ignorance of said parents. Eg. "I will drive my kid to school because I don't want them to get hit by a car near school." It is sad that most motorists are too stupid to see the irony in that.

I really think that they would rather the certainty of knowing their kid is more likely to die in their car, than the uncertainty of the remote chance a stranger will harm them.

Scotty
 

meehs

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Nov 7, 2003
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3_days said:
I'm not innocent when it comes to being impatient during a ride- I'll admit that up front. Like most or all of us, I hate having the tempo of a ride repeatedly broken up for any reason. So, to purposely avoid this, I make it a point to ride in spots where the likelihood of stoppages is almost a non-issue.

Until today ...

I ended up behind a school bus in a nice residential area where I ride frequently- The bus stopped, I stopped behind it and waited - one kid got off! Two houses down, the bus stopped again - I stopped again, one kid got off.

This happened twice more and I had it - I put my head on a swivel, hit up the sidewalk on the opposite side and breezed the bus (I know, it's not cool!).

Obviously annoyed, the bus driver blasts the horn repeatedly. After yet another stop, the driver guns the bus to catch me from behind. Mind you, after pulling down the road well ahead of the bus, I'm doing 25 mph in a 25mph zone and he's catching up to me at probably closer to 40mph.

I eventually lost him through a couple of tighter intersections.

Was I really that awful? and wouldn't you guys/girls have had enough after the 4th 100 yard sprint?

I mean, I remember when kids walked to bus stops and all got picked up in one general area ... rather than delivered door to door.

At any rate, sorry to vent, but be aware of the road raged, school bus drivers in your neighborhood

Actually I probably would've made the move after the first stop! I can't believe the driver got so aggrevated that you passed. You were on a bike for one thing so you weren't presenting a significant danger to the kids. Plus the manner in which you passed him (although you're not supposed to do it) didn't present a threat to the kids on the bus. The driver was probably putting the kids in greater danger by speeding. Some of these bus drivers seem to get on a power trip because everyone has to stop for them. It's ridiculous! :rolleyes:
 

artmichalek

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Sep 15, 2004
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3_days said:
Obviously annoyed, the bus driver blasts the horn repeatedly. After yet another stop, the driver guns the bus to catch me from behind. Mind you, after pulling down the road well ahead of the bus, I'm doing 25 mph in a 25mph zone and he's catching up to me at probably closer to 40mph.
It sounds like that lunatic has no business driving with children.
 

cydewaze

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Jun 17, 2004
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I just had a thought.

Once you're past him, take the center of the lane. You're a vehicle, so he's not allowed to pass you in a no-passing zone. So even if he catches you, he has to languish behind you (and he still has to stop for the next kid).

That should annoy the **** out of him. :p
 

3_days

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Jul 13, 2005
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TX101 said:
Are school busses in some way special in the US? ie. What happens when you're behind it in a car and it stops, can you move to the other lane (after yielding to traffic of course) and overtake? Is the law that you cannot for any reason overtake a school bus (or any other kind of bus)?

Here in London (UK), we have bus lanes and cyclists can legally ride in the bus lane (along with Taxis). If I approach a bus stopped at a stop, I'll slow down if it looks like it's just about to leave, but if there's a big queue to get on, I can squeeze past in the same lane. You frequently play leapfrog with busses between stops, but sometimes you can manage to lose them in traffic. It's just part of the commuting "experience".

I don't understand why the driver would get ****** off though... What else are you supposed to do?
Essentially, the rule of the road for cyclists here is that, you yield as a car would yield and obey street signs, etc., as if you were behind the wheel of a car. Cars are obligated to yield to cyclists in a similar manner- although any cyclist expecting a car to yield might have a short future in cycling.

School buses are the grand chariots of motor vehicles - and for the most part, I agree with the reasoning behind the laws. In my case, the driver was abusing the system by stopping much too frequently IMO. In any case, traffic is expected to yield to a school bus at all times.

Both oncoming and flowing traffic must stop when a bus flashes its lights. This is true no matter how many lanes of traffic are coming/going. Running a flashing bus carries a decent fine and points (demerits) on your driving record.
 

artmichalek

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3_days said:
Both oncoming and flowing traffic must stop when a bus flashes its lights. This is true no matter how many lanes of traffic are coming/going. Running a flashing bus carries a decent fine and points (demerits) on your driving record.
If you ever get pulled over for passing a bus on your bike, just cite your right to not be forced to inhale toxic diesel fumes. The exhast pipes on school buses are pretty much right at face height for a cyclist. Every second you spend riding behind one probably shaves a week off of your life.
 

HenryLaRoy

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Aug 16, 2005
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cydewaze said:
I just had a thought.

Once you're past him, take the center of the lane. You're a vehicle, so he's not allowed to pass you in a no-passing zone. So even if he catches you, he has to languish behind you (and he still has to stop for the next kid).

That should annoy the **** out of him. :p
You're at vehicle, which means you are legally required to stop.

Am I the only person who is reacting to the idea of riding at like at 25 mph past a stopped school bus? Y'all have a bunch of clever arguments about how you are entitled to ride where & how you like. Would they still sound as clever in the ICU next to a kid who only takes up half the bed?

No wonder the biking trail I used to be able to ride now has "stop, walk your bike" signs. I guess to many training rides were interrupted.

kids are dropped off for their safety. And I don't think that makes then lazy. Nor do I think my training justifies endangering anyone else.
 

El Loto

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artmichalek said:
If you ever get pulled over for passing a bus on your bike, just cite your right to not be forced to inhale toxic diesel fumes. The exhast pipes on school buses are pretty much right at face height for a cyclist. Every second you spend riding behind one probably shaves a week off of your life.

The buses in Aberdeen have exhaust pointing directly at the pavement. S owhen a bus leaves a stop pedestrians get a blast of warm diesel fumes in the face.
 

meehs

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HenryLaRoy said:
You're at vehicle, which means you are legally required to stop.

Am I the only person who is reacting to the idea of riding at like at 25 mph past a stopped school bus? Y'all have a bunch of clever arguments about how you are entitled to ride where & how you like. Would they still sound as clever in the ICU next to a kid who only takes up half the bed?

No wonder the biking trail I used to be able to ride now has "stop, walk your bike" signs. I guess to many training rides were interrupted.

kids are dropped off for their safety. And I don't think that makes then lazy. Nor do I think my training justifies endangering anyone else.

Did you read the post describing how he passed the bus on the sidewalk? On the opposite side of the road? Hardly a danger to the kids. It was far more of a danger to the kids for the moronic driver to speed up and start driving like an idiot. Also, I challange you to find me one documented instance of a kid ending up in ICO because his school bus was passsed by a person on a bicycle. Good luck with that! Gimme a break!

I walked 4 blocks to the bus stop when I was a kid. I agree with a previous poster who said it's unecessary to stop at each kid's driveway. No wonder so many kids are so fat these days!

Edit: Let me just add this. While you're searching for a documented case of a kid being sent to ICU because he/she was struck by a cyclist passing their school bus (which you won't find), take note of how many instances you will find of kids on bikes being struck and serverely injured or killed by stupid drivers (including school buses).
 

3_days

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Jul 13, 2005
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HenryLaRoy said:
You're at vehicle, which means you are legally required to stop.

Am I the only person who is reacting to the idea of riding at like at 25 mph past a stopped school bus? Y'all have a bunch of clever arguments about how you are entitled to ride where & how you like. Would they still sound as clever in the ICU next to a kid who only takes up half the bed?

No wonder the biking trail I used to be able to ride now has "stop, walk your bike" signs. I guess to many training rides were interrupted.

kids are dropped off for their safety. And I don't think that makes then lazy. Nor do I think my training justifies endangering anyone else.

Make no mistake- I sat at a standstill behind the bus when I did a scooter push and crossed at about walking speed to use the opposite side. The bus itself was also at a stop for a period after I crossed and well after I had passed it. It was further down the road when I made my way back to the right side- That's when the idiot driver thought he'd use his horn to spook me and run up behind me at an excessive pace.

The safety argument is tenuous in that this neighborhood has wide streets and lovely sidewalks (and big houses with nice cars FYI) and the houses are only spaced out by about 100 yards. One house even has a bike ramp directed from the sidewalk toward the public road.

Don't take this post out of context. It's not acceptable to take risks and I did no such thing in this case. Everyone has an obligation to act reasonably- a school bus stopping door to door at 100 yard stretches, for each and every kid on the bus, seems a little ridiculous, perhaps inconsiderate and even unreasonable.

But that's just my opinion.