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Traffic violation: passing bus red lights

Traffic violation: passing bus red lights

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  #1  
Old 04-05-07, 08:51 AM
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Traffic violation: passing bus red lights

Maybe someone can help with this or has a better understanding of this.

I was waved down this morning by a bike cop who gave me a ticket for passing a schoolbus that had the red stop lights on. The guy was a real as$ but that's beside the point.

Basically I was driving in the far right lane of a big street, and there was a bus in the parking structure adjacnet to me loading up some kids I guess. Well I thought I only had to stop when the bus was actually in the road, not in some parking lot where I didn't even notice the bus!

I'm thinking of fighting this cause the fine is around $500. Think I will win or is this a loser? The actual text on the law is here: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22454.htm

For illustrative purposes here's a picture of what happen.


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[BUS PARKED]
| | |parking structure in mall, not part of road|
-----------------------------------
<-[MY CAR]--

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- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
 
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  #2  
Old 04-05-07, 09:00 AM
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I'm not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice. I used to be a cop, though not in California. So basically this is just my opinion:

A plain reading of the law seems to indicate you rated a ticket. But if I were you I'd go to court and contest it.
 
  #3  
Old 04-05-07, 09:56 AM
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Hmmm, interesting question. You could read that into the way it is written. There doesn't seem to be any leeway for when the bus is not physically on the street you're traveling. Frankly, I would have probably gone by, too. Could be worth fighting, especially if you have an otherwise clean record (you do, right?).

Just for grins I checked the Florida statute and it isn't any better written.
 
  #4  
Old 04-05-07, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
Hmmm, interesting question. You could read that into the way it is written. There doesn't seem to be any leeway for when the bus is not physically on the street you're traveling. Frankly, I would have probably gone by, too. Could be worth fighting, especially if you have an otherwise clean record (you do, right?).
Yep perfect record. I've never had a ticket in my 12 years of driving.

However, lets say the fine is $550. If I pay this and take traffic school then I still have a clean record. If I fight this and lose, can they charge me even more? Can they charge me lets say $1000, and of course i'd have a violation in my record as well.

Thing is, I would have stopped if I saw the bus. But it wasn't even in view. It was in a parking area.
 
  #5  
Old 04-05-07, 10:12 AM
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I got stopped once , school bus was in the LEFT TURN lane with his lights on

I was turning right in the right turn lane .

I told the cop I was concentrating on the kids by the curb and didn't even think the bus could be waiting for them

he let me go .
 
  #6  
Old 04-05-07, 10:15 AM
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I don't think you could be fined $1000 for a $500 ticket simply by contesting it in court. There would likely be "court costs", however. Not sure how I would go if paying the fine and taking traffic school will negate it on your record. You're saying the bus and/or it's lights were not visible from the road?
 
  #7  
Old 04-05-07, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by the_tow_guy View Post
You're saying the bus and/or it's lights were not visible from the road?
Well it was probably visible from the road, I just didnt notice the bus at all. I was just paying attention to the road, not whats going on in a parking lot.
 
  #8  
Old 04-05-07, 10:24 AM
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I hate to dis' cops because my little brother IS one, but you gotta wonder about how many tickets they write for that type of gray-area offense, i.e. I wonder if that location is staked out on a regular basis to catch those like yourself.
 
  #9  
Old 04-05-07, 11:51 AM
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Do some research and check your state's vehicle and traffic code. You may find the answer, or at least a defense, there. It should be available on-line.


For instance, in NYS the code reads(some deletions are made)

a) The driver of a vehicle upon a public highway, street or private road upon meeting or overtaking from either direction any school bus ...which has stopped on the public highway, street or private road for the purpose of receiving or discharging any passengers...shall stop the vehicle before reaching such school bus... and said driver shall not proceed until such school bus resumes motion, or until signaled by the driver or a police officer to proceed. For the purposes of this section, and in addition to the provisions of section one hundred thirty-four of this chapter, the term "public highway" shall mean any area used for the parking of motor vehicles or used as a driveway located on the grounds of a school or of a board of cooperative education services facility or any area used as a means of access to and egress from such school or facility.

I could probably find a few good arguments based upon the wording of this Article.
 

Last edited by DIYaddict; 04-05-07 at 11:59 AM. Reason: frown removed ;)-->>> FYI: If you have a colon (:) next to a parenthesis ( or ) you will get a happy face or a sad one
  #10  
Old 04-05-07, 03:04 PM
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If a bus has its red lights on, and if you cross or come very close to the point
in which the bus is in conjunction with of picking up students, you are then a
contestant of receiving a ticket because it could have been a student or
students that you could have hit.(whether or not students were crossing,
you are viable to get a ticket) Sometimes that is the way things are.



goodluck with your objective!
 
  #11  
Old 04-05-07, 03:58 PM
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could you define and clarify your use of "parking structure"

Was there a curb between your lane and the the area the bus was stopped?
 
  #12  
Old 04-05-07, 04:34 PM
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Also... from where your car was, were the flashing lights and the stop sign visible? I know you weren't paying attention, but when you got waved down, at THAT time was it?

As far as the parking structure...I'm wondering if this section applies:

(d) This section also applies to a roadway upon private property

hmmm...

Just thinking here.

In all honesty, I don't see any hurt in trying to defend yourself. If you win...cool If not...at least you tried! Not lawyer or anything either, but wouldn't it be like fighting a speeding ticket? You go to court, state your defense, etc. If the cop isn't there...you win automatically?
 
  #13  
Old 04-05-07, 06:45 PM
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Might be worth a couple bucks to talk to a local attorney familiar with this law. Myself, I think I'd fight this one.
 
  #14  
Old 04-06-07, 04:35 AM
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I think the "private property" clause would deal with being on a private road primarily.

I'm thinking I would be fighting, too, and mitch's idea to consult an attorney is a good one; maybe cost you a hundred bucks for a simple consultation/opinion.

If I was going to fight it, one thing I would do is stake out that location at the appropriate times of day for several days in a row [from a discreet spot] and see (a) how many other drivers blow past [not a defense, of course], and (b) whether law enforcement has it staked out on a regular basis. Pictures and video may help especially if the view of the stopped bus is obscurred.
 
  #15  
Old 04-06-07, 05:00 AM
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Tow Guy has a great point - I end up in court fairly regularly and pictures do wonders for helping prove your point.
 
  #16  
Old 04-06-07, 05:44 AM
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A close reading of the traffic code cited infers that the bus and the vehicle are on the same road! Your situation suggests that this may not be the case.
You need the exact wording of the local code.
 
  #17  
Old 04-06-07, 03:14 PM
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that is why I was asking about the curb and for OP to define and clarify the situation.

If the bus was on the other side of a curb, I would definately fight the ticket as you were not even on the same roadway.

If the bus was on one of those wide areas of the roadway (regardless of it being public or private property) made for busses to be able to pull off the drfiving lanes and there was no curb between the bus and your car, I think your boned. It is in essence, the same road.
 
  #18  
Old 04-06-07, 05:46 PM
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I would love to see pictures or a good diagram.
 
  #19  
Old 04-07-07, 10:43 AM
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Hi:
Your quote, below implying very strongly that you didn't mean it. Then, if I were in your position, I certainly would fight for the ticket. An attorny is, for me, a VERY last thing to consider, because of the charge he/she may ask for this form of issue.
-----------------------------
>>> Thing is, I would have stopped if I saw the bus. But it wasn't even in view. It was in a parking area. <<<
--------------------------------------
In the past, I had a ticket, not school-bus. However, I got a reduced-charge due to an insistence on my innocent act.

Good Luck to you! Let us know how things going on,
 
  #20  
Old 04-07-07, 12:24 PM
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I guess that I am the bad guy here. Your guilty. Pay your fine, go to school, and keep your record clean. If you get a Passing a stopped school bus on your record, your insurance company will not like it at all. Now about your ticket. The area where the bus pulled over, wheather it was on the road, off the road, or on an approach, does not matter. What matters is that
it is a designated point to pickup and let off students. That is all that matters. These laws are written kind of loose to cover all situations. If you go to court, the judge will say, guilty or innocent. If you say guilty you get the fine. If you say innocent, they will set a court date and go from there. Its just that simple. Oh just for the record, I have had my driving license for 50 years. I have driving over 3 million miles. I have never had a ticket, I have never been in an accident or in that fact, never been pulled over. Have a Happy Easter.
 
  #21  
Old 04-07-07, 12:46 PM
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Sorry, but I have to disagree with Jack. The intent of a law is central to its enforcement. Few would disagree that the law regarding stopping for a school bus is intended to keep kids safe. The letter of the law, however, is vital to knowing our responsibilities in obeying it, and it is necessary for reasonable people to be able to interpret the law. If the law says I have to stop for the bus, and I can see it stopped a quarter of a mile away and three streets to the side, do I have to stop? If the law stipulates that you have to be on the same street as the bus then that is an important factor in determining my guilt or innocence. Lawmakers have an obligation to make laws that are clearly defined so that we, and the police, can be able to perform appropriately.

Find the letter of the law and, if you are right, fight it. If the wording of the law is deficient, this is how things are changed!
 
  #22  
Old 04-07-07, 01:04 PM
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http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22454.htm

OP posted a link to the "letter of the law" in the very first post.

Not sure what you are looking for as you repeatedly suggest reading the "letter of the law". In your prior post, you state that you had even read the post OP provided.

OP hasn't been back since Thursday. Either he has recieved the info he wanted, doesn;t care, or is busy. To me, until/unless OP defines the physical situation, he has recieved all the advice that can be given.
 
  #23  
Old 04-07-07, 03:35 PM
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Nap is probably correct. He got his question answered. He probably decided to pay his fine.
 
  #24  
Old 04-07-07, 03:44 PM
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Hopefully he'll eventually post back and not keep us all in suspense. I would still love to see some pics of the location; I think the visibility of the stopped bus would be a big factor. I also think that if this is a gray area, the proper thing for the authorities to do would be to install a warning sign at that location requiring drivers to stop. Too late to help gorth, of course. He could be completely guilty; but rockpro's point about where you draw the line when the vehicles in question are not actually on the same physical portion of roadway certainly has merit.

I'm done.
 
  #25  
Old 04-14-07, 12:32 PM
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Hi guys,

I'm actually still deciding if im gonna pay the fine or fight this but most likely will pay this based on what I've read on this forum. I'm waiting for the mail to see the fine totals, but I'm not 100% sure I'm innocent given what the law says... I still feel I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and that'll probably cost me a few days worth of work.

I've come back to the location but my memory is a little off and i can't seem to find where exactly this happen. The cop scribbled on the ticket so its not really legible either. And actually I was driving in that area and I saw that cop again, giving someone else a ticket. I guess he gets off on giving tickets all day long. Anyway...
 
  #26  
Old 04-14-07, 02:47 PM
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should have asked the cop.

I have paid a speeding ticket that was actually winnable if I fought it. The problem was it would have taken a minimum of missing two days of work and the cost to drive the 125 miles (one way) each time I would need to go to court.

It was cheaper to pay the ticket. (including any increase in insurance that resulted)

any possibility you can answer the questions of those who posted them (especially mine). I am curious as to the what's and why's.
 
  #27  
Old 04-14-07, 04:28 PM
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Oh, the whats and whys.

I went back to the area but I'm not certainly sure where the bus was parked. I found a small area with a divit in the road like a backward C made for city public buses, and I think it could have been parked in there which has no seperation from the road.

From my memory, the school bus was parked in a parking structure off the road with an obvious curb seperating the two. However, when the cop pulled me over, I was about two blocks from the bus location and could only look back to see where the bus was so not a lot of detail in that respect... I think maybe my perspective of the bus location was wrong but not entirely sure.
 
  #28  
Old 04-14-07, 05:04 PM
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if you can, go back to the location when the school bus will be stopping by (they keep a pretty good schedule) and observe. If there was a curb seperation, I would contest the ticket. No seperation; pay it.

Pictures of where the bus stops (as it is there) would be good if you intend on fighting this.
 
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