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New Traffic Law for Buses

There's a new law in the District that bars drivers from passing a stopped bus on the left and then making a right turn in front of it. This applies when the bus is loading or unloading passengers and is intended as a pedestrian safety measure.

This month, the D.C. police will be issuing warnings if they spot a driver looping around a bus. Starting in January, you can get a $100 ticket. The District is supposed to provide stickers that can be placed on the backs of buses operating in the city that will warn drivers about the new rule.

You should start seeing them on all sorts of buses, including Metro, the Circulator, Georgetown Blue Buses, Maryland and Virginia commuter charters and Tourmobiles.

The new law, called the Pedestrian Protection Bus Safety Amendment Act of 2006, was introduced in the D.C. Council by David Catania.
D.C. police say that the total number of traffic fatalities in the city is down 9 percent this year. There have been 17 pedestrian fatalities, one more than in 2005.

What do you think? This isn't the same as school bus rules, where all lanes have to stop behind the bus. You can still pass a bus. You just can't turn in front of it, into a blind spot where you might hit a pedestrian while the bus is loading or unloading.

By Robert Thomson  |  December 7, 2006; 8:56 AM ET
Categories:  transit  
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