Monday, January 12, 2009

The Wheels On The Bus Drive Me Crazy

In the past week since returning to work after the holidays, and public-school schedules resuming, I have been reminded why the local public-school buses drive me bonkers.*

1) The max speed for buses in our state is limited to 55MPH. Makes sense when on regular roads, but on an interstate with a limit of 65MPH (and on which 65 is generally the slowest speed) it makes the school buses a hazard to the other drivers and causes backups as people going faster and much faster than the bus try to merge to pass the slower moving yellow behemoth.**

2) I've been unlucky enough to pull up on the right of a flat-front bus (older buses have the engine situated more like a semi-truck, so have a lower hood in front of the driver; this one is like a city bus with the driver at the front bumper) at the entrance to our neighborhood twice in the past week. I say unlucky because the driver of this particular bus feels she has to pull past the stop line to have a clear line of sight. Now, her doing so happens to totally block my vision of any traffic coming from the left as I rarely feel the need to pull past the stop line at this intersection. And because she is so far forward, I have to pull out about into the traffic lanes to see if there is any traffic before making my right-hand turn.

If this was an older style bus, I could understand more, but with the drivers' position being so far forward, and with the added height of a bus, I fail to understand why it is so necessary for this driver to be stopping where she is. Maybe there is a bus driver or someone who knows a bus driver out there who can explain this to me because even from the stop line and in the right lane (not to mention the lower height of my vehicle), I have no trouble seeing both left and right before making my turn.

*Note that personal experience of school bus rides and routes in middle and high school shall not be discussed as some episodes still have the power to raise my blood pressure.

**Obviously, I'm not concerned with the safety issues of bus speed regulation. I just want them to either stay off the interstates entirely or be allowed to go the speed limit so that traffic is not affected. It's rare that you see an issue with a bus on a highway - it's on the side streets that accidents seem to happen on a semi-regular basis.


  1. I agree, school buses really cramp my morning commute style. What really gets me is when they're flashing their red lights and flipping out their little stop signs. I can never figure out what the rules for this are (do I have to stop if there's a concrete divider? What about if the kids look like jerks?)

  2. I can't complain about school buses, because I get to complain about farm traffic. Some of those machines are so big and slow you wonder if your car would fit under them.

  3. The thing about farm traffic in my experience is that those guys will pull over to let you pass when they come to a place that is safe to do so. School buses won't.

    (And don't get me started about people who either are scared to drive on the interstate or deliberately drive 5-10 miles below the speed limit. Argh!)