Sunday, 6 November 2011

Bus Laws Confusing For Drivers?

http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/11/05/bus-laws-confusing-for-drivers

Anthony Furey is confused about how to yield to a transit bus. Given the tone of the article, and the accompanying video, I get the feeling that Anthony gets conveniently confused about quite a few things in life, at least when he's attempting to make a berating point.

Yielding is pretty easy. The law states that you must yield to a transit bus who is attempting to reenter traffic from a bus bay.  In the video however, the bus is actually stopped in the regular lane of traffic. There is no bus bay here. In actuality, there is no requirement of Mr. Furey to yield to anything but oncoming traffic because if he was passing the bus legally, he would not be splitting the lane. That's illegal. He's required to pass in the left lane, which is also illegal because he'd have to cross a solid yellow line to do it. So what is the legal solution?

Stop behind the bus, wait, take a breath, and get to that stop sign 100M ahead a few seconds later. Sometimes traffic doles out a little bit of "Suck it up, Princess", and Anthony looks like he could use a Calgon moment.

What really irks me about the article however, is his tone towards bus drivers and transit in general.


"Imagine Ma and Pa Newfoundland drive to Ottawa to visit their grandkids. They’re not entirely clear where to turn, being confused by the many lanes on our streets, so they pull over for a second to peruse their map. Unbeknownst to them, they’ve pulled over in a transit lane!
“Get on the ground,” the police yell to the harmless old couple. Give ‘em the taser. Don’t they respect the environmental munificence of the public transit vehicle? Don’t they understand that people riding transit are on the top of a hierarchy much like India’s caste system? Transit riders are on the top, able to walk all over anyone in a motor vehicle. Motorists are the untouchables, who are presumed guilty until proven innocent.
Thankfully there’s another clause to the law, demanding a little bit of responsibility from the drivers: “The driver of a bus shall not indicate his or her intention to re-enter the lane of traffic adjacent to a bus bay until the driver is ready to re-enter traffic.”
I’m glad this is tacked on. Part of what frightens me about yielding to the whims of bus drivers is this year they seem to have a lot of distractions to busy them: Texting, drinking their Timmie’s, swearing at passengers. If this clause wasn’t there they could just veer out at you while playing Angry Birds and you’d have to hop the median to clear out of the way."

Why the anger? Were those actually bus drivers getting medals at the end of Star Wars leaving only the Furey co-star without one? Is there not a bit of irony in the fact that such a well thought out article mentioning bus drivers as distracted texting-coffee drinking- angry-birds-playing- passenger-swearing-bad drivers would then be accompanied by a video documenting the complainer driving along talking into a video camera while doing a story? 


Oh, and hey... Can we give the Ottawa Police Service a little credit here too, as most police officers would not taser the stupid old newfies unless they were parked in the transit lane driving a stolen police car?
Sheesh.


It's amazing how a little inconvenience brings out the worst in drivers. We've all had that guy behind us following an inch from our bumper, who then finally finds an inch to move around us and zooms to the red light or stop sign. That's usually slow golf-clap time for me.  
Never has that been documented in such detail. Thank You Anthony. Well done.


Now in the interest of the law itself, a quick GOOGLE search finds that low-and-behold, many, many jurisdictions in North America have yield to transit laws. SOMEHOW, drivers in other jurisdictions have figured this whole "confusing" mess out. 


 http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/faq/other.shtml#ytb

There you go Anthony. Hope that clears up your confusion.


1 comment:

  1. I have a theory that, the faster you can travel, the more impatient you get when held up. As I am usually on a bicycle, I can only get impatient with pedestrians and slower cyclists. It's kind of goofy when you realize what you are doing, when you are going that slowly.

    Also, I have a theory about respect. People need to learn to have respect for other creatures and the planet itself. If more people had more respect, the world would be a better place.

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