Former School Bus Driver Wants You to Help Enforce Montana’s HB 267
And now a public service announcement from a former school bus driver, me.
House Bill 267 was recently signed into law in Montana and now makes it a little more expensive if you run the lights of a school bus when they are flashing.
I actually looked up the bill to try to see what all it covered. It was six pages of words like "wanton", "actuated" and "municipalities" — six pages worth.
To summarize: Too many people are not stopping when school buses hit their flashing lights in Montana.
In addition, apparently, there's been a problem with drivers passing school buses on the right while the lights are flashing.
So this year all student buses will be equipped with an 80-inch arm that will extend into the other traffic lane. And the fines have also increased quite a bit. Because they really want to fix this problem.
But we all know that even with stricter rules and heftier fines, some drivers are still going to run these. But you can help.
If you see somebody not stop for a school bus with its stop sign out in Montana, make note of the time and location where it happened.
Get their license plate number and the color of the vehicle if possible. And even more helpful would be a description of the driver.
I haven't been a school bus driver for nearly 35 years. But even back then, people running my light was pretty common. Although I was never passed on the right while I was driving. And if I see that happen these days, my pickup and I might intervene.