1. #1
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    Default passing a school bus.

    Just wondering how some other departments do it. The way we work is when we come up on a school bus the O.I.C. gets out of the truck and walks between the bus and the truck. Does not matter if the bus is stopped to let kids off or just going down the road. Even if the bus driver waves us by we still have the O.I.C. get out. The reason I asked is yesterday we had a state trooper stop and ask why our truck blew by a school bus. We found out later that is was a mutual aid company never even slowed down when they went by. Easy for us to be found innocent. They was looking for red truck all ours are safety green. Just wondered how you department does it.
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    Our state law states we may pass a school bus like any other vehicle except when the school bus is engaged in loading/unloading of students. We must come to a stop, and wait for the operator of the bus to wave us by.

    Getting out of the rig seems to be inviting more of a chance for someone to get hurt, than to proceed slowly and with caution after being waved on by the bus driver. Then again - we don't operate that way, so I just haven't done something like that before.

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    State law here dictates that the only time you can't pass the bus is if it is doing it's thing with the red stop lights flashing.

    As far as how I personally handle it, there could not be a more important vehicle to be careful around. I'm not passing it unless the driver acknowleges my existance by signalling to the right, slowing down, and moving over.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    The drive of the bus must acknowledge us before we pass as well. I did not clarify that sorry. We started with the plan that we now have when a drive of a neighboring department was as he thought waved by the bus. The driver of the bus was waving for him to stop. He figured it out before he passed the bus. No one was injured but could have been. That is when we came up with the O.I.C. walking between the two. Does not matter how much time it adds to our response time we know we are know hitting a child. The O.I.C. walks more in front than beside. This puts him ahead of the unit where the driver can see him. Thank you to all the reply. As we tell everyone of our guys as they are learning to drive. Pass every car like you mom, wife, husband, kids are the vehicle that you are about to pass.
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    Can't pass if they are loading/unloading with lights flashing......

    In fact, last week when I was working we had a school bus on a side road preparing to stop and unload. We were approaching from the opposite direction and I saw the amber lights flashing while the bus was slowing down, so I slowed to stop. The bus driver looked at us, with the lights flashing and the siren blaring as we sat directly in front of her across the intersection, and continued to a complete stop, opened the door and let the kids off the bus and the kids took their own sweet time to cross the street. I don't know what the driver was thinking.
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    Cant pass if the red lights are on. State law
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

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    I would NOT get someone out of a vehicle to flag us by, our procedure calls for us to stop and get waved past by the driver if they are loading or unloading students.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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    DAVE1983 - Where did you find that??? We have the same policy, but I wanted to back it up with a copy of the state statute. Went through what I thought was all of 316, but couldn't find anything.

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    Our policy is if it's not red it's not a firetruck and hence shouldn't pass a school bus. :-p

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    Default Same in NC

    As in most other states, the stoped school bus which is unloading/loading kids will be stoped for by emergency apparatus. And I agree it is a good law...let's keep all our kids safe.

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    In NYS a school bus with it's red lights flashing is the only traffic control device an emergency apparatus can't proceed through under any circumstances. Although at least were I work we are trained if we see emergency apparatus approaching before students are let off the bus, we are to keep the door closed and hold the students on board until the emergency apparatus has cleared the area.

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    I discussed this with my father-in-law, a dispatcher, driver trainer, and otherwise relatively high-ranking person for a school bus company. He says that it is a federal level law that prohibits any vehicle of any kind under any circumstances to pass a school bus with stop sign out and red lights flashing (perhaps this is why some are having trouble finding it in state statutes?). Goes for all emergency vehicles, be they first-due fire trucks two blocks from a working fire, ambulances transporting a code, or squad cars in the midst of a high speed chase.

    He shared one story where he had just stopped and activated the warning devices.... a car came up on the left, stopped next to his bus, then proceeded right past him. Directly behind his bus was a marked squad car. The squad came right out and pulled up to the stop sign and stopped. The bus door had not been opened yet so he knew the kids were still safely aboard, and he waved the squad by. The officer gestured to the stop sign and waited, and my father-in-law then quickly turned off the lights and waited for the sign to fold back in, after which the squad car lit up and took off after the bad guy. With the kids then safely discharged, he drove up the route a quarter mile or so and found the car pulled over, the officer gesturing wildly to his bus and gloriously reading the holy riot act to the driver, ticket pad in hand.

    He said that they teach their drivers to respect the needs of emergency vehicles, that if anything is coming in hot they should wait to put out the sign, and if possible (kids still aboard the bus or safely on the curb), to pull the sign in and signal the emergency vehicle OK to pass with care if they have ensured all children are safe.

    I am in agreement with everyone who has said to err on the side of caution when it comes to the kids.

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    Thanks everyone for the replies. We NEVER EVER PASS a buss with the sign out and lights flashing. This is just how we do pass the bus. If when the driver recognizes us and motions is when we start to go around. Keeping the kids safe is the main priority that is why I asked everyone how they do. Thanks for all the incite.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

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    fireguy, which state are you from? I can try to go through your statutes and see if I missed anything, unless you were already directed to the appropriate code. I always love to do research

    Here in Alaska, state law states we must stop for school buses with lights flashing. Ambers of course mean slow to stop, so I dont pass on ambers or reds. I've never seen a bus driver go on a power trip; in fact, I once came up behind a school bus who had his reds flashing and came to a stop (though i was polite enough to turn off the siren to not punish the children on board). The driver motioned the children to come back on board the bus, closed the door, pulled off the road as much as he could, turned off the reds, and motioned me by. There were no other cars on the road, so I was able to proceed.

    I noticed everyone says pretty much the same thing - anyone out there who has a different view or law?

    C

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    I'm from eastern Ohio.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

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    http://onlinedocs.andersonpublishing...&2.0#JD_451175

    Well, I was going to write more except my browser crashed during the process of researching and I didn't want to re-look everything up. All I will say is to read the above law regarding rules of passing school buses, and then look up statute 4511.041 which lists the exceptions of emergency apparatus.


    Ohio does NOT allow an emergency apparatus to overtake a school bus displaying stop lights and signs (though the sign is acutally optional and not requisite).


    Want to convince a recruit/new driver to not pass? Not only mention about the hazards or harm, but mention that a license can be suspended on a first offense and a $500 fine for the violation. The fine is low but I like that Ohio has the power to revoke on first offense.



    I cannot think of ANY state where it is legal to pass a stopped school bus - anyone?

    C

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    I brought this up with our Chief, who just happens to be the transportation director for 2 school districts.

    All his bus drivers are instructed to get all the kids on the bus, close the doors and turn off the signs as soon as they see an emergency vehicle approaching with it's lights on.
    Our drivers are instructed to come to a stop and crawl past the front of the school bus.

    After all, it's not our emergency, and it's not worth hurting a kid just to get there 30 seconds sooner.

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    We had an incident where the engine was approaching the bus Code 3 and proceeded to the rear of the bus and stopped. It scared the bus driver and they shut the lights off and the flip out Stop sign popped out as the truck passed with the school bus lights off. We were told this sometimes happens with the door/sign linkage. The driver stopped again, and then proceeded when the sign was then closed again.

    Problem was that the bus driver did not know that section (d) below is just as valid as section (3). I went and talked to the bus company and printed all the Statutes out which they were "not aware" of section (d). Not what you want talking about town when the troops did it right and now you are dealing with a PR problem.

    Vermont Statutes : TITLE 23 Motor Vehicles : CHAPTER 13. OPERATION OF VEHICLES : Subchapter 1. General Provisions : 1015. Authorized emergency vehicles.

    (3) shall come to a full stop when approaching a school bus which is flashing red lights and may proceed only when the flashing red lights are extinguished;

    (d) The operator of a school bus, upon the approach of an authorized emergency vehicle as described in subsection (a) of this section, shall take action immediately to get school children out of the public highway and to a safe place and shall thereafter extinguish the flashing red lights.

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    We sit and wait for the reds to go out and the sign to come in. I am not aware of any way to pass a school bus actively discharging children.

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    We never pass a bus unloading or picking up children. If the bus has kids on it we have someone walk between. Never pass with the lights out. Just wanted to clarify for everyone. Thank you to all the have replied it is appreciated.
    Training does not make perfect. Training makes permanent!

    IACOJ probie

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    Recently brought this up with our senior driver/engineer who informed me"No way,no how,no reason do we pass a school bus with the flashing yellow or red lights going."
    Just what I thought.It's always good to know for sure,even if the guy you ask thinks you don't know nuthin because you asked a question.
    A fire can wait while the kiddies cross the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson
    A fire can wait while the kiddies cross the road.
    AMEN to that!!! It is their emergency not ours. Please be careful around the ankle biters.
    Lt. Tad Yergey
    Nokesville Volunteer Fire Department
    and Rescue Squad

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    I strongly agree....be safe when dealing with School buses...

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