School bus stopping rules apply on 4-lanes, too

Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Motorists traveling along U.S. Hwy. 62 east of Berryville are being ticketed for failing to stop when a school bus stops to load or unload passengers. Even though the highway is a four-lane with a divider, it does not meet state criteria to exempt drivers from stopping -- no matter which direction they are traveling.

BERRYVILLE -- Motorists who fail to follow state law when it comes to stopping for school buses may find themselves in court facing a hefty $350 fine.

"Basically, if a school bus is stopped in Carroll County, you must stop," said Lt. Jimmy Capps, with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office.

"It's a $350 fine and you must appear before the judge. You can't just pay. You have to appear."

He said all motorists are required to stop -- even when traveling on the four-lane highway east of Berryville.

"I've stopped and ticketed three (motorists) in the last week alone," he said. "People don't realize that unless there is a 20-foot or more wide median to divide the highway, they must stop."

He was referencing state law which says motorists are prohibited from passing school buses "from any direction" while the buses are stopped and displaying red warning lights for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers.

The "multiple lane" exception requires a "highway divided by a parkway or dividing strip of 20-feet or more in width." In those instances, "the driver of the approaching vehicle need not stop but shall proceed with due caution for the safety of the children."

Capps said there is no highway in Carroll County that meets the 20-foot multi-lane exception.

Most often the offenders are those in oncoming vehicles who fail to stop, he said. Capps also noted that motorists are not to proceed until the school bus is "in motion again."

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  • Why doesn't this law apply to cops? On August 26 two carroll county officers passed the school bus in front of my house, almost hitting my daughter as she crossed the highway, the bus had its stop sign out but they passed it anyway. They even had the nerve to honk at her to get out of the way. We contacted the Carroll County sheriff and the prosecuting attorney and they pretty much laughed at us and said that it was justified because the officers were responding to an accident in Madison county,not their jurisdiction, the state police were already responding to the accident. No accident is worth risking the life of any child. Do yourself a favor and elect a sheriff that actually cares about the people of carroll county because the one we have now DOES NOT.

    -- Posted by CLA on Fri, Oct 10, 2008, at 8:25 AM
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