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Did you ever just have a bad day? (Bad driving decision)
Old 09-19-2017, 11:04 AM   #1
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Did you ever just have a bad day? (Bad driving decision)

Im on my way to work and I decide to take the back way today - just to mix things up. I am putt putting along and come upon a school bus with its yellow lights flashing. I slow down further and think yellow lights I neverously proceed with caution. (In Pennsylvania you lose your license if you pass a loading school bus). As I draw abreast of the school bus the driver opens the door and the flashing lights go to red. I proceed to the intersection and make a right on red. The police car pulls up behind me and pulls me over..

"I stopped you because you passed a loading school bus...". I explain what happened to the officer but, he's having none of it. I think dear god I've done it now, maybe I can get a lawyer or get the driver to say no he didn't. Im thinking Mrs RayinPenn is going to be all over me. I'll have to fully retire. It is amazing what you'll think of when your sitting with a police car with all the lights and a million people are looking at you. For 15 minutes I am worse than Al Capone but I'm not sure Al felt any remorse.

I note that where the officer was sitting he couldn't have seen any of it. But it doesn't matter, to him and the courts I am just another bad driver. Funny but I have not had a ticket in ten years and I've become a of a slow cautious older driver. I took the AARP driving class and way I stay back. Im rarely in a rush.

I wait 15 minutes as the officer writes me a summons - actually prints me one. I am lucky he cuts me a break failure to follow a traffic symbol. $170 I thank the officer and drive to work.

I cant help but think it could have been worse but it shook me up.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:31 AM   #2
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I got a ticket for an illegal right in red about 8 months before I ER'd. So glad I don't have that commute any more!!
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:11 PM   #3
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you had me until the flashing yellow lights ,no reason to pass a school bus in those circumstance just sit there and wait...in this state you can be reported by the bus driver and the cops have 4 hours to track you down and give you a ticket. I don't think you'll ever walk away from an incident like that with only a warning..
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Did you ever just have a bad day? (Bad driving decision)
Old 09-19-2017, 12:23 PM   #4
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Did you ever just have a bad day? (Bad driving decision)

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Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
you had me until the flashing yellow lights ,no reason to pass a school bus in those circumstance just sit there and wait..

The rules actually say stop on red and proceed with caution on yellow.. but from now on you can be darn sure Ill stop on yellow.

75 Pa. Cons. Stat. 3345 a states that a driver must stop AT LEAST "ten feet before reaching the school bus when the red signal lights on the school bus are flashing." b states that a driver is to proceed with caution if the amber lights are activated.
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Old 09-19-2017, 12:44 PM   #5
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Hire a lawyer and see if you can plea it down. Usually works with a record like yours and the AARP course to boot.

I got a ticket a few months back - first one in ~10 years. a few days later, I had like 20 letters from lawyers - all willing to represent me for 75-100 bucks. I hired one. Didn't have to appear and charge was reduced (no points - no insurance hike). Best $75 I've spent lately.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:01 PM   #6
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Amber lights are activated prior to a bus stopping to receive or discharge school children and stay on until the red lights are activated. Section 3345(b) permits drivers already proceeding past school busses as the amber signals are activated to complete such passes, even where a bus driver subsequently activates the red signals and stop signal arm, so long as the driver can do so safely and without endangering children approaching or leaving the area of the bus.


Is it Legal to Pass A School Bus in PA

So it seems you MIGHT have an out,based on the events that unfolded as I understand them. That being said I dont know what section he wrote you up for.

P.S. Ray, I agree that is a bad way to start the day.
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:14 PM   #7
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Technically I suppose you are in the right and shouldn't have gotten the ticket.

But if it were me, I probably would have stopped and waited unless the yellow flashers had only been on for a couple of seconds. If the bus had been moving at all (slowing down to stop) it would be safe to pass cautiously, but if it had been stopped or nearly stopped I would not have chanced it.

At our last house, the school bus stopped at almost every one of the 28 houses in a row along one section of the road. Unload the kids, move forward 20-30 feet, repeat. If I was unlucky enough to get behind it, by the time I got to my house there were generally several dozen of us behind it doing the stop & go routine. And it was a low traffic road. Drove me crazy!
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Old 09-19-2017, 01:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
The rules actually say stop on red and proceed with caution on yellow.. but from now on you can be darn sure Ill stop on yellow.

75 Pa. Cons. Stat. 3345 a states that a driver must stop AT LEAST "ten feet before reaching the school bus when the red signal lights on the school bus are flashing." b states that a driver is to proceed with caution if the amber lights are activated.
I'm not saying you messed up, but in my case I will always stop on yellow for exactly that reason...if the driver behind me doesn't like it too bad
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Did you ever just have a bad day? (Bad driving decision)
Old 09-19-2017, 05:57 PM   #9
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Did you ever just have a bad day? (Bad driving decision)

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Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
I'm not saying you messed up, but in my case I will always stop on yellow for exactly that reason...if the driver behind me doesn't like it too bad

I'm saying I messed up ...safer to just stop and I will from now on. I'm just going to pay the ticket ...life's too short to get worked up.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:26 PM   #10
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Never got a ticket for passing a stopped school bus (I don't do that) but I have more moving violations than I can remember. Well into the double digits. And parking tickets are over 100. There "was a time" in downtown Houston that a parking ticket was cheaper than some parking lots. I only got a lawyer one time (I felt I was in the right) and won the case but I paid more in lawyer fees than the ticket would have cost me.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:04 PM   #11
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I'm saying I messed up ...safer to just stop and I will from now on. I'm just going to pay the ticket ...life's too short to get worked up.
If you feel lucky you could go to traffic court and plead your case. The fact you didn't get a school bus violation might help your case.Your insurance won't like the ticket. I'm curious did the cop say that he saw you?
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:25 PM   #12
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That would have been a perfect time to have your dash cam running.

I have one in my old Jetta and it's recording constantly.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
Im on my way to work and I decide to take the back way today - just to mix things up. I am putt putting along and come upon a school bus with its yellow lights flashing. I slow down further and think yellow lights I neverously proceed with caution. (In Pennsylvania you lose your license if you pass a loading school bus). As I draw abreast of the school bus the driver opens the door and the flashing lights go to red. I proceed to the intersection and make a right on red. The police car pulls up behind me and pulls me over..

"I stopped you because you passed a loading school bus...". I explain what happened to the officer but, he's having none of it. I think dear god I've done it now, maybe I can get a lawyer or get the driver to say no he didn't. Im thinking Mrs RayinPenn is going to be all over me. I'll have to fully retire. It is amazing what you'll think of when your sitting with a police car with all the lights and a million people are looking at you. For 15 minutes I am worse than Al Capone but I'm not sure Al felt any remorse.

I note that where the officer was sitting he couldn't have seen any of it. But it doesn't matter, to him and the courts I am just another bad driver. Funny but I have not had a ticket in ten years and I've become a of a slow cautious older driver. I took the AARP driving class and way I stay back. Im rarely in a rush.

I wait 15 minutes as the officer writes me a summons - actually prints me one. I am lucky he cuts me a break failure to follow a traffic symbol. $170 I thank the officer and drive to work.

I cant help but think it could have been worse but it shook me up.
I guess the idea of accepting responsibility for your actions is no longer a part of our socety
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:57 PM   #14
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Traffic tickets are no fun!!

Our DD received one about 5 years ago for not stopping for a school bus. I learned from it. She was driving west on a double lane highway. The school bus was travelling east. There was empty land between the two highways. She did not stop for the bus and got a ticket.

I was surprised. I never would have guessed one must stop in a situation such as that - when the kids would not be crossing across to the other side. I learned a valuable lesson.

DH earned his first ticket ($175) a few weeks ago - going 61mph in a 50 zone in Baskin, LA. It was the first speeding ticket in his 64 years of living. The officer told him he was being stopped for speeding and DH said, "I'm sorry." In the passenger seat, I'm wondering why DH cannot claim something other than that!?!! When the officer presented DH with the ticket, he thanked DH for being honest.

One of these days I will learn integrity and it might just be from DH.
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:49 PM   #15
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I guess the idea of accepting responsibility for your actions is no longer a part of our socety
If you look at post #9, you'll see that rayinpenn did take responsibility.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Our DD received one about 5 years ago for not stopping for a school bus. I learned from it. She was driving west on a double lane highway. The school bus was travelling east. There was empty land between the two highways. She did not stop for the bus and got a ticket.
I remember that situation from my kids' studying for their learners permits. In my state it is legal to continue to travel on a divided highway when a school bus is stopped in the other direction. In fact it seems like a safety hazard to require drivers to be paying attention to opposite direction traffic in a divided highway. In some cases you cannot even see the other direction lanes.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:06 AM   #17
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Check the ticket first for clerical errors.

Example: my daughter, and several of her teammates, got tickets for parking in a bike lane when they were at practice. They all claimed it wasn't properly marked, and were going to contest it. Almost two weeks went by, nobody had done any contesting. I looked at the ticket more closely. Her VIN was listed as ABCD123456789. Her VIN was ABCD1234567890. All the same, except the officer omitted the last digit. I contested the ticket, saying it's not our VIN, ABC...6789 is listed, ABC...7890 is ours. Ticket was dismissed with extreme prejudice. Saved $210. I thought to look for this cuz I had a friend that went in to argue the merits of a ticket, kind of like you are talking about doing, and before he got to say anything the judge dismissed cuz the officer hadn't properly filled in the time.

Arguing "he said - she said" doesn't usually work too well when you are going against a police officer.

As far as the "integrity" issue, there's integrity, and there's the law. Maybe we'd have more integrity paying the ticket. But it sure felt good to beat it.
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Did you ever just have a bad day? (Bad driving decision)
Old 09-20-2017, 05:43 AM   #18
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Did you ever just have a bad day? (Bad driving decision)

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I guess the idea of accepting responsibility for your actions is no longer a part of our socety

1. I said I screwed up. (See post #9). I said the policeman gave me a break. My title is BAD DRIVING DECISION.
- I'm guilty of being indecisive and that can be dangerous
- it appears if the yellow lights are blinking and the bus is stopped you should too. I will from now on.

I want you ponder this btdt22: Why do you think I posted this story? Not because I wanted people to shout 'you are right RayinPenn!' I posted because I felt terrible about and wanted to share how I made a bad decision and how I put myself in bad place because of it. And so others could learn from my screw up.

This old man learned long ago I am not perfect. By the by responsibility is my middle name. That's why the Mrs says "you were born old Ray"
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Old 09-20-2017, 06:53 AM   #19
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I got a ticket for an illegal right in red about 8 months before I ER'd. So glad I don't have that commute any more!!
There is one puzzling intersection here where there is a sign up next to the light which says something like 'Green arrow appears for right turn'. Yeah, so? And there is no sign saying 'no turn on red'. Just so I won't get a ticket from some lurking cop, I wait there until I get the green arrow, then turn right. But why the heck even have a sign saying 'Green arrow appears for right turn'? Does that mean I have to wait for it, even when there isn't any 'no turn on red' sign? So unclear. And the cars behind me are probably freaking out. BTW, Rayinpenn, I'm on your side. I feel your pain, Bro.
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Old 09-20-2017, 10:36 AM   #20
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If you feel lucky you could go to traffic court and plead your case. The fact you didn't get a school bus violation might help your case.Your insurance won't like the ticket. I'm curious did the cop say that he saw you?
Not sure about other states but in Mass if you lose your appeal, there are 'additional court costs and fees' that are applied. In short they try to discourage you from appealing. (the web site even cites "plus you'll lose time from work" as a reason to just pay the fine).
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