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So the question is… legal or not?

January 14, 2010, 10:04 PM

So the question is, is this a legal move in Maryland, or is it not? Take a look:

School bus stop - legal or not?

This is a situation I’ve encountered on more than a few occasions on those days when I have to drive to work. The yellow box on the roadway is a school bus with the stop lights on, loading a whole bunch of children onto the bus. The box at the bottom of the image is me in my car, with the right turn signal on, waiting to turn out of my driveway and onto the roadway. The pink arrow is the move I intend to make.

The school bus is stopped at the edge of the driveway, but not in front of it. I am entirely in front of the school bus, and making a turn that takes me away from the school bus. So the question is, is it legal to make that right turn while the bus has its red lights on, or am I legally obligated to wait for the bus to finish its transaction and turn off the red lights before I can make my turn? See, if this were a left turn, it would be a no-brainer. Obviously, if I were going left, I would have to wait. But for a right turn, I’m not sure where things stand. I’m not trying to pass the school bus per se, but I am kinda sorta wanting to make some moves very close to a stopped school bus with its red lights on.

This is a bit of a minor dilemma for me, because offenses regarding school buses cost a lot of money. And I don’t like not knowing, because if I err on the side of caution, it causes a lot of resentment from me towards the school bus, plus knowing that I don’t know if it’s legal or not (i.e. a “known unknown”) makes me want to test those waters and run the rapids, but I don’t want to be wrong and have points on my license and a hefty fine.

Of course, if jurisdictions would just eliminate school bus traffic stop laws, then we wouldn’t have this problem, would we?

Categories: Driving