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Author Topic: School buses stop at ALL railroad crossings?
Hubert Cumberdale
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I know buses are required to stop at railroad crossings and look to make sure no trains are coming. It's a pretty reasonable safety issue and I have no problem with it. The thing I don't get is do they have to stop at railroad crossings that clearly are no longer active? On my way to work in the morning I usually end up behind a bus that stops at a railroad crossing with bushes growing on the tracks on one side and a junk car lot with cars on the tracks on the other side. Even if I didn't know that these same tracks actually end just after the junk car lot from my days as a kid when I used to sneak back there, it's pretty obvious that no trains are coming through here in the near future. Except for maybe ghost trains and they would just pass through you anyway so there's no need to be scared about them hitting you.
Is this bus driver just being overly cautious or do the rules require them to stop at every track no matter what? Unlike most rants, it doesn't piss me off, it just confuses me.

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Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Probably an effort to teach the children to be careful at railroad crossings.

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/Troberg

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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The laws I found don't make any mention that stopping is not required if the railroad crossing is unused or inoperative. It simply says they must stop at least 15 feet, but no more than 50 feet from a railroad crossing.

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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I can't answer your question, but I can provde a little trivia about that law. If you ever watched School House Rock's "I'm just a Bill", the bill that was passed into law was the one which required school busses to stop at railroad crossings.

Beach...Just sitting on Capital hill...Life!

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WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The old tracks I cross every day on the way to work have a sign posted that says "Tracks out of service." This morning I just happened to get passed by a school bus on that streatch of road as I was peddling in to work. The bus did not stop at those tracks. So I'm just guessing but maybe if there is a sign posted labeling the tracks as out of service then they are exempt from stopping, but if there is no sign then they have to assume the tracks are still active? Of course laws probably differ between CA and MA, too.

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WonkoTheSane
Happy Holly Days


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Seems that prudence would be the wiser course, here. The lawmakers ought to assume that the bus driver would have no way of knowing whether a crossing was no longer in use or not, so having them stop at all of them removes the possibility that they'll be wrong that one time it matters.

I don't know what the actual laws state, though.

Wonko

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Sue Bee
Happy Holly Days


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They (and trucks hauling certain hazardous materials) are required to stop at all railroad crossings unless there is an "EXEMPT" sign before the crossing.
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Elbe
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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Back in high school I was on a bus that always stopped at tracks that were obviously not in use - even when we went by and the tracks ended about 20 feet past the road (they were in the process of removing the tracks).

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Kev
We Three Blings


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The law in Texas says they don't have to stop if there is a sign stating the tracks are not operational.

The MA law does not appear to have such an exception.

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dissonance
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Elbe, that's funny - my school bus when I was a kid used to stop at a crossing where the tracks had been taken up on either side years earlier.
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Elbe
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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That wasn't even the weirdest thing, because of the angle of the track the driver couldn't see down one direction when she stopped before the tracks. So she then stopped on the tracks in a position to look down the other way (usually for not nearly as long, though), I'm guessing there was some part of the law saying she had to look both ways before proceeding.

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Beechwill
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quote:
Originally posted by Sue Bee:
They (and trucks hauling certain hazardous materials) are required to stop at all railroad crossings unless there is an "EXEMPT" sign before the crossing.

I just like the fact that this law appears to classify schoolchildren as hazardous materials.

Not that I'm arguing.

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TurquoiseGirl
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
I can't answer your question, but I can provde a little trivia about that law. If you ever watched School House Rock's "I'm just a Bill", the bill that was passed into law was the one which required school busses to stop at railroad crossings.

Beach...Just sitting on Capital hill...Life!

Gah, Beach, I now have an earworm! Thanks a lot buddy! [Razz]

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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The first time I ever felt old was when I mentioned that Schoolhouse Rock skit to a friend of mine who was a few years younger - and he knew the Simpsons parody about the flag burning amendment, but he'd never seen or heard the original.

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The Vanilla Gorilla
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Great, with you guys mentioning Schoolhouse Rock and railroad tracks I now have the lyrics for "Conjunction Junction" in my head. [Smile]

Vanilla "Conjunction Junction, what's your function?" Gorilla

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Radical Dory
God Rest Ye Merry Retail Clerks


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At least the bus driver was not stupid enough to stop ON the tracks and look for trains like mine in kindergarten was.

I don't think she was there for very long.

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Cervus
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Wait, you mean school buses aren't supposed to stop on the tracks?

Methinks your bus driver got relocated to Florida.

[fish]

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Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseGirl:
quote:
Originally posted by BeachLife:
I can't answer your question, but I can provde a little trivia about that law. If you ever watched School House Rock's "I'm just a Bill", the bill that was passed into law was the one which required school busses to stop at railroad crossings.

Beach...Just sitting on Capital hill...Life!

Gah, Beach, I now have an earworm! Thanks a lot buddy! [Razz]
Sorry, my momma always told me to share.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Jack Dragon, On Being a Dragon
Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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