Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw Enforcement & Police · 4 weeks ago

Did I just get a misdemeanor for making a right turn on an intersection with the school bus on the other-side of the road?

I stop at a stop sign and watched the last kid cross the street on right hand side I meant to turn on. After he crossed I proceed to turn slowly and continue on my way. I'll be honest and say I didn't notice whether the stop sign on the bus is up or down but I think it was down and I'm also not too familar with bus laws at four way dived intersection. I assumed you just cannot pass if you are behind the bus. Guess I was wrong because some lady started screaming at me and fliming me. She said she is going to take me to court for a misdemeanor etc. I honestly didn't know what to say so I just didn't say anything and ignored her. I'm really confused. I love children and obviously didn't mean to cause any of them harm and I was a bit taken back by her accusations. What should I do? Should I talk to the police right away or what?

Update:

STEVEN F: I'm looking into it on google and I think the laws are similar to your state, however, I'm not seeing any info about four way intersection so not sure how that applies to the law (if at all). So what do you think I should do? Talk the police? 

Update 2:

Stephanie: The bus was actually on the other side of the street where I turned. And I foolishly I didn't even pay attention to whether the sign was up or not and just watched the child cross the street I meant to turn on. Once it was clear and no one was crossing anymore I just made the turn without even thinking of looking at the bus. The women was also on the other side of that street and ran out in the middle of it to record and yell at me. A misdemeanor seems very severe if she choose to 

Update 3:

turn in the footage and testify against me. I admit I should've paid more attention to the bus or even waited until it fully took off instead of keeping an eye on children on the road and proceeding when clear, but it honestly seems such a severe punishment for my admitted negligence. As far as I know a misdemeanor is very severe and will forever show up on my criminal record which I had none prior. You can even go to jail for up to 6 months from what I'm reading. This is scary! I don't feel 

Update 4:

the punishment is really justified to have something on my record for life and to have future jobs that run a background check see it, have it affect any travel outside of the country, and on top of that I can't afford to go to jail for 3 to 6 months. I understand that children have died from people passing buses so I get why it's so severe. But my eyes where on the kids the whole time. And I passed by very very slowly and most importantly I did not kill or hurt anyone. Feels weird being a 

Update 5:

seeing as a criminal now for this. And now I'm just left wondering how to go about this. If the police will come to arrest me or if I should go to them or what. People in my life telling me not to. Others online are telling me to turn myself in. 

2 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    Several problems with this. You already know that ignorance of the law is no excuse (blah, blah, blah).

    In MY State (and I think most others) you cannot pass a stopped school bus. In MY State the only exception is a street divided by a median.  It doesn’t sound to me like you did if the bus was AHEAD of you at the other side of the intersection. The last child to cross the street crossed, and you turned right behind that child? I don’t see a violation. Whether the bus had its sign up or down, you weren’t passing it. In my State you can turn at an intersection if a bus is on the other side of the intersection as long as you are watchful for pedestrians (the same as any other intersection). I just had to look, because I didn’t know the law.

    This stranger can’t “take you to Court” for a misdemeanor or anything else. This isn’t a civil matter. If anything it’s a criminal matter, and I’m not seeing that she’s a Police Officer. I don’t know where you live, but the Police where I live will totally ignore her. The ONLY complaints involving school buses that they act on are violations which the school bus cameras film.

    I suspect ignoring a screaming stranger was a very wise plan!

    I think I would ask the Police in that jurisdiction what the law is. I agree it’s rather vague, and MY State very specifically addresses “passing a stopped school bus,” and I don’t see that that’s involved.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Exact laws vary by state.

    In MY state, vehicles traveling in the opposite direction when there are at least 2 traffic lanes in each direction are not required to stop. In addition, the distance you would be required to stop is 10 feet from the bus. In order to accommodate 1 lane in each direction, an intersection would have to be at least 25 feet.

    Note: The laws in your unnamed jurisdiction may not be the same.

    Update: The law DOES NOT refer to intersections AT ALL. That said, being on the other side of ANY intersection puts you more than 10 feet away.

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