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Area Man Annoyed by School Buses Holding Up Traffic
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mindwaves
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Apr 11, 2019, 08:41 AM
 
School bus stop signs. Just stupid.
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subego
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Apr 11, 2019, 10:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
School bus stop signs. Just stupid.
Wat
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 11, 2019, 12:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
School bus stop signs. Just stupid.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Wat
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mindwaves  (op)
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Apr 11, 2019, 01:26 PM
 
Not sure if you guys are familiar with it, but a yellow school bus, when waiting for kids to board, whether at a crosswalk area or somewhere along a block of road, will have an electric stop sign that extends from the bus. Cars traveling along BOTH sides of the road legally have to stop and wait for the stop sign to retract before proceeding.

I think it is stupid because 1) wastes time, 2) kids should be responsible for boarding the bus themselves or with parents, 3) both sides of the road are blocked and this can last minutes.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...Louisiana).jpg

Picture shows a narrow road but all roads apply.
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andi*pandi
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Apr 11, 2019, 01:55 PM
 
newsflash: sometimes kids houses are on the other side of the road from bus traffic. That means they have to cross the road.
     
Laminar
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Apr 11, 2019, 02:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Not sure if you guys are familiar with it,
Yeah, I think we're all familiar with it and also very much in favor of it.
     
subego
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Apr 11, 2019, 02:47 PM
 
My guess is the reasoning behind “unnecessary” deployments of the sign are so cars are forced to yield to the bus.

Without the sign, when the bus needs to move again, the bus needs to yield to any car attempting to pass.

Not to mention, when people need to use the oncoming lane to pass, and are irritated they’re stuck behind a bus, they drive aggressively.
     
subego
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Apr 11, 2019, 02:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Yeah, I think we're all familiar with it...
You got the memo, too?
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 11, 2019, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
My guess is the reasoning behind “unnecessary” deployments of the sign are so cars are forced to yield to the bus.
Yes.

Without the sign, when the bus needs to move again, the bus needs to yield to any car attempting to pass.
Not the reason for the bar.

Not to mention, when people need to use the oncoming lane to pass, and are irritated they’re stuck behind a bus, they drive aggressively.
Aggressive drivers need the visual reminder of a bar across the road so that kids don't get hit. Kids are hard to see.
( Last edited by andi*pandi; Apr 11, 2019 at 03:49 PM. )
     
mindwaves  (op)
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Apr 11, 2019, 03:49 PM
 
Irritates me (hence the post). How about kids taking responsibility by not running across the road? Does Europe or other countries have such a law?
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andi*pandi
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Apr 11, 2019, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Irritates me (hence the post). How about kids taking responsibility by not running across the road? Does Europe or other countries have such a law?
It's called they have to cross the road, they are not just running in traffic for fun.
     
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Apr 11, 2019, 04:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Yeah, I think we're all familiar with it and also very much in favor of it.
"All"?

That's an American school bus, I believe. We don't have those Stop signs on buses here.
     
Laminar
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Apr 11, 2019, 04:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Irritates me (hence the post). How about kids taking responsibility by not running across the road? Does Europe or other countries have such a law?
Sensory information isn't integrated until 8.

Kids under 12 don't perceive visual information the same as adults.

Until 24, the part of the human brain responsible for making sound risk-taking decisions isn't developed.

It's not about kids "taking responsibility" (whatever tf that means), they literally don't have the capacity to judge a car's speed and approach. They're unable to calculate whether it's safe to go or not, and if there's time to make it before the car traveling at 40-60mph gets there or if the car will stop.
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 11, 2019, 04:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
"All"?

That's an American school bus, I believe. We don't have those Stop signs on buses here.
Are your drivers just smart enough to stop when they see a stopped school bus? IIRC, we didn't have to start adding those safety arms and signs until the 80s, after some tragedies.
     
sek929
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Apr 11, 2019, 04:35 PM
 
The safety bar is to force the children in front of the bus further so the driver of the bus can see them, there was an instance where a child was run over by the bus since he/she was too close for the driver to see.

I don't really mind the full stop bus laws, and I live in the insane driver capital of the country, just calm the f**k down and let the kiddies queue in peace.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 11, 2019, 06:29 PM
 
Hey, if parents don’t want their kids hit by cars, they should be homeschooling them, amirite?
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mindwaves  (op)
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Apr 11, 2019, 06:35 PM
 
Area man? Not really complaining holds up traffic, but just annoying. Slight difference.
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subego
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Apr 11, 2019, 09:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Yes.


Not the reason for the bar.


Aggressive drivers need the visual reminder of a bar across the road so that kids don't get hit. Kids are hard to see.
I’m talking about situations where stopping traffic in both directions is theoretically unnecessary, bar or not.

The main example is kids boarding from the same side of the street the bus is stopped on. If a kid can’t do that without being flattened, they’re too young to be near the street alone.

I’m arguing the bus should still stop traffic in this situation anyway because if it didn’t, everyone would see this type of stop as their shot at passing the bus.
     
subego
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Apr 11, 2019, 11:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
It's not about kids "taking responsibility" (whatever tf that means), they literally don't have the capacity to judge a car's speed and approach. They're unable to calculate whether it's safe to go or not, and if there's time to make it before the car traveling at 40-60mph gets there or if the car will stop.
A better way to think of “take responsibility” might be “take on inconvenience”.

Taking responsibility here is the kid getting across the street “by the book”. They take on the inconvenience of finding a crosswalk.
     
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Apr 12, 2019, 04:51 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Irritates me (hence the post). How about kids taking responsibility by not running across the road? Does Europe or other countries have such a law?
As a general rule, no. It is legal to pass a school bus that has stopped in all countries in Europe, I think. There are blinking yellow lights to go slow in many countries, but not red lights to stop.

HOWEVER, the situations aren't exactly the same. This is where it becomes hard to speak for countries other than Sweden, but at least here, school buses stop at bus stops only, and those bus stops are built to guide crossing the road in a safe way (tunnels, crossings with traffic lights, barriers in the center of the road to prevent kids and adults crossing anywhere). Inside a city, it is frequently illegal to overtake a stopped bus for various reasons, but you can pass it from the other direction. On other places, the bus stop can be built so you can't pass the bus from the other direction in that location. Bottom line, it depends on the exact traffic situation in that place, but no hard rule against passing.

My personal experience of driving in the US is very limited, but what I remember of that, you guys drive fast and the streets are wide compared to almost any city in Europe. I imagine that the number of accidents involving pedestrians is probably higher.
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sek929
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Apr 12, 2019, 08:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
They take on the inconvenience of finding a crosswalk
In the suburbs and rural America they’re going to be hard-pressed to find those. For example, the town I went to HS in doesn’t have a single stoplight or crosswalk, and everyone drives 50mph+ on the backroads. So maybe having both lanes stopped is a great idea for a vast majority of the country that isn’t located in a big city with proper considerations for pedestrians.
     
Laminar
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Apr 12, 2019, 08:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
A better way to think of “take responsibility” might be “take on inconvenience”.

Taking responsibility here is the kid getting across the street “by the book”. They take on the inconvenience of finding a crosswalk.
My neighborhood doesn't really have crosswalks, it's your typical suburban hellscape of windy roads and cookie cutter houses extending forever.



The bus stops at some corners, all unmarked and uncontrolled, no lights, signs, or crosswalks. They also stop along the faster four lane road, but most states don't require oncoming traffic stop if the road is 2 or more lanes in each direction.
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 12, 2019, 11:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
They also stop along the faster four lane road, but most states don't require oncoming traffic stop if the road is 2 or more lanes in each direction.
I'm pretty sure, in my state, oncoming traffic has to stop regardless, unless there's a divider between the lanes.
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subego
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Apr 12, 2019, 01:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
My neighborhood doesn't really have crosswalks, it's your typical suburban hellscape of windy roads and cookie cutter houses extending forever.



The bus stops at some corners, all unmarked and uncontrolled, no lights, signs, or crosswalks. They also stop along the faster four lane road, but most states don't require oncoming traffic stop if the road is 2 or more lanes in each direction.
Pretend I never mentioned crosswalks.

In the above hellscape, there’s a “by the book” way kids get across the street when there isn’t a school bus involved. I assume it’s some variation of letting traffic pass before crossing.

If a kid can be expected to handle that without a bus, is it a massive leap to have the same expectation of them with a bus?

If the bus drops them off on the wrong side of the street, they do what they have to do in every single other situation. They wait to cross the street until it’s clear of traffic.
     
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Apr 12, 2019, 02:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Irritates me (hence the post). How about kids taking responsibility by not running across the road? Does Europe or other countries have such a law?
We have lollypop ladies/men. A large friendly woman or man with a big stop sign on a stick that steps out into the traffic and gets insults abuse and death threats hurled at them by drivers desperate to shave another 15 seconds off their commute to work.

Since UK schools are generally closer to kids homes than US ones we don't use busses as much but a school crossing person will be at every junction on the main school feeder routes.

Also useful as primary school kids can get a bit unsighted trying to look round the double parked 4x4s that drive the 100 yards form door to school.

So, yeah we have a thing about not mowing school kids down as well.
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subego
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Apr 12, 2019, 02:49 PM
 
This is the Chicago version.

     
andi*pandi
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Apr 12, 2019, 03:08 PM
 
Walkers and dropoffs get crossing guards, within the first block around a school, at school start and end. Bus stops near homes do not. Quiet neighborhoods the kids do well enough to cross after the bus leaves. But there are busier places.
     
Laminar
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Apr 12, 2019, 04:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
I'm pretty sure, in my state, oncoming traffic has to stop regardless, unless there's a divider between the lanes.
Kentucky: When you come to a school or church bus that is stopped on any roadway to load or unload passengers, you must STOP. By law you must remain stopped until all people are clear of the roadway and the bus is in motion. A stop is NOT required when approaching a stopped bus from the opposite direction upon a highway of four or more lanes.
http://www.schooltrainingsolutions.com/state-laws/

Originally Posted by subego View Post
Pretend I never mentioned crosswalks.

In the above hellscape, there’s a “by the book” way kids get across the street when there isn’t a school bus involved. I assume it’s some variation of letting traffic pass before crossing.

If a kid can be expected to handle that without a bus, is it a massive leap to have the same expectation of them with a bus?

If the bus drops them off on the wrong side of the street, they do what they have to do in every single other situation. They wait to cross the street until it’s clear of traffic.
There's an age at which a child can be trusted to safely cross a street by her or himself. In theory, with additional measures surrounding school buses in place, that age goes down.
     
subego
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Apr 12, 2019, 10:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
There's an age at which a child can be trusted to safely cross a street by her or himself. In theory, with additional measures surrounding school buses in place, that age goes down.
Well, yeah.

But don’t the additional measures continue well past the age children can be trusted?
     
andi*pandi
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Apr 13, 2019, 01:09 AM
 
Occasionally, more than one child gets off the bus at a time, of differing ages. The system, or harried bus driver, is not programmed to detect child age or emotional maturity before deploying the safety measures.
     
ghporter
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Apr 13, 2019, 12:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
I'm pretty sure, in my state, oncoming traffic has to stop regardless, unless there's a divider between the lanes.
Section 11-705 of the Uniform Vehicle Code - the template for traffic laws used by virtually every US state - requires drivers “meeting or overtaking” a school bus that is stopped with the required red indicator lights activated to stop until the bus resumes movement and/or the lights are deactivated.

In some jurisdictions busses have additional fold-out “STOP” signs (also with red lights) to reinforce that stopping is mandatory. Maybe because of the number of idiots who drive around school busses that have kids loading or unloading, and probably because of at least one incident where a child was injured or killed by such an idiot.

Convenient or not, school children, particularly younger ones, are prone to inappropriately dodging into the street, running off and so on, so there’s a real chance that a child could suddenly appear on the wrong side of the bus - and in traffic. Stopping for a school bus is not optional, and I don’t really have a lot of sympathy for people who feel they are overly inconvenienced by school buses stopping in front of them.

This reminds me of the traffic situation in a lot of retail areas near me. The closest parking entrance to a major intersection always seems crammed with cars, often backing up through the intersection, while all the other entrances have minimal traffic. It’s like these drivers only know ONE WAY!!!!! to get into that parking lot. If you really feel inconvenienced by school bus traffic on your way to work, find an alternate route that does’t have school bus traffic during your commute.

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Laminar
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Apr 15, 2019, 09:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Section 11-705 of the Uniform Vehicle Code - the template for traffic laws used by virtually every US state - requires drivers “meeting or overtaking” a school bus that is stopped with the required red indicator lights activated to stop until the bus resumes movement and/or the lights are deactivated.
It's like you skipped all of my posts.
     
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Apr 15, 2019, 09:48 PM
 
Not really. You gave practical reasons. I cited (essentially) every state’s statute.

Telling someone why something is a good idea doean’t always wok. That’s when you whip out the “because it’s the law” card.

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subego
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Apr 16, 2019, 03:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
Occasionally, more than one child gets off the bus at a time, of differing ages. The system, or harried bus driver, is not programmed to detect child age or emotional maturity before deploying the safety measures.
Well, yeah to those too.

The problem is what I’m arguing implies I’m fine turning a certain number of children into hamburger... because I’m impatient.

Everyone is politely trying to tell me that’s bad, which everybody should, because it is.

That’s not my angle. The system is “overbuilt”, which is also as it should be. I don’t think it should be changed.


As to what my angle actually is, no one with children and a functioning parental instinct will see the system as “annoying” or “irritating”. That’s not how their brains are wired, which is again as it should be.

However, since it we’re here, the system has some quality that’s closer to those things than any other, and that’s my angle. I want to define this quality and analyze how much of it the system has.
     
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Apr 16, 2019, 04:40 PM
 
I think that “overbuilt” part is because there are far too many self-important drivers who feel getting to the Starbucks drive-through as quickly as possible is far more critical than avoiding squishing somebody else’s kid. The priorities of what appears to be the vast majority of drivers on the road today have little to do with safety, complying with the law, or even a vague grasp of physics...

According to this Georgia personal injury lawyer’s site, drivers will illegally pass a stopped school bus 13 MILLION times a year. And that’s with the “overbuilt” system.

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Apr 16, 2019, 05:16 PM
 
I’m confused.

Overbuilding the system is going to reduce compliance, not improve it.
     
Laminar
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Apr 17, 2019, 08:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Not really. You gave practical reasons. I cited (essentially) every state’s statute.
Thanks for confirming my assertion. I linked to every state's actual statute, which adds an addendum onto what you said and nullifies your reply to Thorzdad, which I had already correctly answered.
     
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Apr 17, 2019, 12:30 PM
 
Laminar; Your links, my flat out “it’s the law” statement... I kinda thought I’d reinforced what you said. I see lots of TL;DR attitude when there’s a link that actually requires more than glancing at an article. Perhaps I should have included “as Laminar has already pointed out...”. Sorry to make it seem that I had ignored your posts.

Ssubego; Overbuilding often helps enforce compliance, though not always. On the other hand, much of the implementation of vehicle-related statutes seems to be “add on” infractions.

You get stopped for the add on “faulty tail light” and then your plates get run, you have to show your insurance card, etc. Or you are stopped for 5MPH over the posted limit, but then the officer sees you didn’t have your seat belt buckled (an add on), or that you were using your cell phone without using a hands free device (another add on), etc.

I am not sure if statutes are intentionally written this way, but that’s how they are enforced. so going around a school bus with its lights on AND the stop sign extended can be either a really big single infraction or two kinda big infractions (going around the bus, and “ignoring school bus stop indicators”).

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subego
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Apr 17, 2019, 12:43 PM
 
I could have phrased that better.

What I’m saying is if the sign deploys 100 times, we’ll have X number of violations.

If the system is revised so the sign deploys 1,000 times in the same period, we’ll have 10X violations.

I guess if it turns out to be 9X, you could say there’s better compliance “per capita”, but since 9 times the amount of violations are occurring, it’s not really better compliance in my mind.
     
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Apr 17, 2019, 05:53 PM
 
you'd also be surprised by the number of people who either a) don't know to pull aside for ambulance, fire, or police, or b) don't care.
     
subego
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Apr 17, 2019, 07:01 PM
 
At least with the small slice I’ve been able to personally observe, people here aren’t too bad with that.

However, there are plenty of assholes who “draft” the ambulance and will plow into you pulling back into traffic if you’re not paying attention.
     
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Apr 18, 2019, 10:05 AM
 
ditto. leapfrogging the pulled over cars is also a d!ck move.
     
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Apr 21, 2019, 04:14 AM
 
Over the past few years, rescue services over here have been heavily inundating social media with the info that, in a traffic jam outside of cities, you’re actually legally *required* to make space between the two leftmost lanes for rescue traffic.

Minimum fine for failing to do so is 200€, with hefty bonuses and license suspension once you’re actually endangering people (like depriving accident victims of immediate medical attention).

Last month, they actually fined more than 100 drivers following an accident-caused jam on the A5, for a total of 23,000€.
     
subego
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Apr 21, 2019, 02:21 PM
 
Isn’t that what shoulders are for?
     
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Apr 21, 2019, 03:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Isn’t that what shoulders are for?
The shoulders are frequently not there in many European countries with heavy traffic - they have been turned into an extra lanes, or are only there for short stretches between exits. You are expected to leave a lane between lanes for emergency vehicles.

(As a side note: Germany and the U.K. in particular are countries that assume everyone behind the wheel is a very good driver and super focused on what they’re doing. With my current job, I visit lots of suppliers all over Europe, and the culture is quite different as you cross a border sometimes.
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subego
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Apr 21, 2019, 04:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
The shoulders are frequently not there in many European countries with heavy traffic - they have been turned into an extra lanes, or are only there for short stretches between exits. You are expected to leave a lane between lanes for emergency vehicles.
     
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Apr 21, 2019, 08:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
(As a side note: Germany and the U.K. in particular are countries that assume everyone behind the wheel is a very good driver and super focused on what they’re doing. With my current job, I visit lots of suppliers all over Europe, and the culture is quite different as you cross a border sometimes.
I don't know much about driving training in the UK, but I've heard a lot about German training. Enough to understand that being focused on driving is not just expected but MANDATORY.

Now let's talk about other places. Like Texas. It ain't that way at all.

We have (unfortunately only local) laws that forbid using hand held cell phones while driving because hand held cell use has been the primary culprit (excuse) in way too many accidents. Joe's on the phone and doesn't do or notice X, and all of a sudden Joe's car is on top of Ellen's, and her kids are squished. Of course Ellen was probably chatting as well, and her kids were all hyper and screaming, but you get the picture.

I find it easy to identify a driver who's using his/her phone in traffic. They drive slower, weave from one side of the lane to the other, and generally look like a driver who's trying hard to not look like they're driving drunk. There's a large number of studies that essentially find that "distracted" driving (including cell use) is more dangerous than drunk driving. But I digress....

Originally Posted by subego View Post
I agree on this. There are no spare lanes to leave for emergency vehicles. No place to leave open at all. Around here, first responders are inventive in how they manage this traffic issue. Ever seen a standard fire engine take half of a raised median and roll with one side 8 inches higher than the other so it could go around overly clogged traffic? I have. It's amazing and terrifying.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Spheric Harlot
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Apr 22, 2019, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Shoulders have indeed in many cases been sacrificed for additional lanes, or were never available in the first place (this law does not apply only to Autobahns, but to any multi-lane road outside of city limits).

Also, the shoulder lane may just disappear in a tunnel or under a bridge, and is also used for broken-down cars, so it may well be unavailable during a regular traffic jam.

There was need for a law that would apply universally, without confusion as to what happens when the shoulder suddenly disappears because the highway passes under a bridge or through a tunnel or whatever.

It generally works (everywhere other than construction sites), since there are minimum lane widths outside of cities.
     
Atheist
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Apr 27, 2019, 09:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by mindwaves View Post
Irritates me (hence the post). How about kids taking responsibility by not running across the road? Does Europe or other countries have such a law?
I've seen this complaint before and it's always framed in the context of an irresponsible child not looking before running across the road. "Are American children so dumb they don't know how to cross a street?!"

There's another aspect to stopping all traffic while the kids get out of the bus. Cars traveling next to the stopped bus could be in an accident and inadvertently hit the bus or a child. What happens if a dog/cat/squirrel runs into the street and a car swerves and hits a child?

I don't see why this is a big deal. It's an added safety measure that harms no one and potentially saves lives. It's a no-brainer.
     
subego
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Apr 27, 2019, 05:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Atheist View Post
Cars traveling next to the stopped bus could be in an accident and inadvertently hit the bus or a child.
This is the bigger selling point in my mind. Allowing traffic to get through is a recipe for a collision.

As for the safety of the children crossing the street, the vast majority of the time what’s safest is crossing it like a normal person.
     
 
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