Great moments in driving

Even those people who treat speed limits as merely suggestions and stop signs as saying ‘slow down and look before you go’ tend to take stopped school buses with flashing lights seriously. You simply know that there’ll be hell to pay if you don’t stop and if some school child gets hit as a result.

So one marvels at this woman who decided that driving on the sidewalk was an acceptable alternative to stopping until the bus moved on. And according to Jonathan Turley, she did this not just once but repeatedly on her daily commute. Naturally, the bus driver informed the police and they waited for her to do this in their presence and nabbed her in the act.


  1. Rodney Nelson says

    Waiting a whole minute, maybe even two minutes, for a stopped school bus is such an imposition.

  2. briane says

    I don’t understand. Why do you have to stop if you’re going in the opposite direction of a bus? Kids get off on the curb-side of the bus, then the bus leaves, then kids wait until it’s clear to cross traffic. Drivers following bus, would have to slow down and give way if the bus was pulling back out into traffic, but drivers going in the opposite direction have nothing to do with kids alighting or boarding a bus. N’est-pas?

  3. Tim says

    Adding insult to injury, she’s from Cleveland, Ohio. As typically only stories like this get out about Cleveland, my out-of-town friends think I live in Crazy Town.

  4. Mano Singham says

    The idea is that often children have to cross the street to either get to the bus or after they get off the bus. The bus with its flashing red light and STOP sign prominently extended serves as a temporary pedestrian crossing to enable children to cross the road safely.

  5. jamessweet says

    Meh, for ANY traffic violation, you should always plead not guilty and then ask for a plea bargain. Often it is automatic. They just EXPECT that you do it, and frankly, that adjustment is baked into the system. If you don’t ask for a plea bargain on a traffic violation, that’s sorta like not taking a deduction on your tax returns that you are clearly and unambiguously qualified for.

    Of course, this case is not your typical traffic violation… but still, if I somehow found myself in that situation, I would plead not guilty too.

  6. jamessweet says

    What’s more disturbing is that she thought this was somehow… I dunno… less illegal or something, than just going by the school bus???

    It’s like she envisioned the school bus’s fold-out stop sign as creating an invisible force field on that side of the road, and as long as she didn’t break the force field…

  7. jamessweet says

    I’ll grant that it’s a little screwy that they have to do this even if kids are only getting dropped off on the one side of the street. I guess it’s so there’s no ambiguity.

    One could make the case that it’s a little bit of an overreaction, a manifestation of our overboard safety culture… but in any case, it IS the law in several states, and it’s not that big of a deal.

  8. Corvus illustris says

    It would be interesting to read the fine print on this. The judge may have imposed the maximum penalty for each of the many violations involved, with jail times to be served consecutively, and then said “… but I’ll suspend all but the court costs if you do the following: … “. IANAL but I suspect that the lawful sentences that a very low-level court can impose are fixed by statute in Ohio.

    The real worry is that the contempt for the rule of law demonstrated by both the defendant and the judge seems to go clear to the top. Why, the next thing you hear may be that Americans (with their minor children) are being assassinated without trial for alleged crimes, although as a great president once said,

    Well, when the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.

  9. says

    I’m waiting for some libertarian to argue that what we need is less government regulation; then people would be more careful where they walk on the sidewalks when the traffic is heavy.

  10. briane says

    Thanks Mano. I wasn’t aware or the light and top signs. It’s probably a reflection of traffic culture in Oz, but I would be very wary of teaching my kids to cross a road into oncoming traffic without being able to see what the traffic is doing. It seems a confusing law as normally you would teach them not to cross and to make a special case seems to be counter productive. Oh we’ll, vive la difference.

  11. Brian M says

    There is actually a school of town planning and traffice engineering which claims that if you mix things up, forcing traffic to move more slowly (at a crawl), then actual injury rates go down. Google “Woonerf”.

    Of course, in a low density suburb where all the land uses are separated and people demand the right to free flowing, fast, and most importantly, thoughtless driving, this is not going to happen, of course.

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