General Question

shadling21's avatar

Do transit buses get pulled over?

Asked by shadling21 (6501points) October 5th, 2008

If a cop sees a bus speeding, will he or she pull the bus driver over? Is there a system in place for reporting it to transit headquarters without bothering the bus passengers? Do the bus drivers pay? Is it considered a transit expense?

And what about taxis?

I love asking many questions all at once…

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18 Answers

JackAdams's avatar

In some areas yes, and in others, no.

In some areas, the cop merely notes the information, and the ticket is mailed to the bus company, for the DRIVER to pay the fine.

girlofscience's avatar

Ha, I’m not sure about buses.

I do know, however, that it is very rare for a taxi to be pulled over. I was once in a cab, and the driver was talking about how it was great owning a cab because, even when he wasn’t working, he’d take the cab out to the bars with his buddies and drive home wasted, without fear of being pulled over!

crunchaweezy's avatar

Highly recommended taxi driver!

Divalicious's avatar

The State Police in Illinois have even pulled over city and county squad cars for speeding. Apparently no one is exempt here.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Diva, that’s awesome! I love it!
I got into a wreck a little of a year ago and afterward the cops were really friendly, I chatted with them a bit. This one was telling me how he never wears his seatbelt, and of course I wasn’t going to say anything bad to him, but it just made me so mad!

JackAdams's avatar

I remembered that several years ago, I caused a tour bus to be pulled over.

I was driving in the country and as I was driving through this rural community (probably one mile long), a tour bus zoomed past me, doing well over 50, and the posted speed limit was 35.

I used my cell phone to dial the highway patrol and reported what I had observed.

A few minutes later, I saw the tour bus down the road, pulled over by the state police.

I had given the patrol my real name and cell phone number, saying that I would be willing to testify to what I had seen, but they never got back to me, so I am guessing that the driver was caught-in-the-act of committing other offenses, and my testimony wasn’t needed.

jasonjackson's avatar

@girlofscience: in Chicago, at least (so I guess maybe all of Illinois), taxi drivers also have more points on their licenses – so they can get more tickets than an ordinary driver before they lose their license.

JackAdams's avatar

That’s unfair. Laws should be applied equally to everyone, regardless of occupation.

Another flaw in our system.

jasonjackson's avatar

@JackAdams: Well, they do pay more for their licenses, too. That’s very much in keeping with the way things are run in Chicago. The traffic cops are also bribeable there.

I agree with you wholeheartedly in general – but in this case, I think an argument could be made that the laws are, in a sense, being applied equally: since license points are essentially a free pass to make mistakes on the road without losing your license, you could say that, because taxis spend so much more time on the road, they should get more points, thus allowing them the same number of mistakes per hour on the road as everyone else gets.

I don’t actually feel strongly about the issue either way, just pointing out that there’s another perspective in this particular case.

JackAdams's avatar

I respect your point, definitely.

But, if we are going to give special dispensations to taxi drivers, then what about UPS and FedUp drivers, or ANY delivery drivers, who spend as much time on the streets, as taxi drivers?

jasonjackson's avatar

@JackAdams: yeah, good point.

shadling21's avatar

Glad to hear that in some areas the driver pays the fine, but the passengers aren’t inconvenienced. I wonder if there is someplace where taxpayer money goes toward the fine? That would suck.

As for the points thing… If we’re going to dole out points based on amount of time spent driving, then my dad should get some bonus points. He does mechanical and plumbing work, and spends half his time on the road going to job sites. Driving may not BE his job, but it’s certainly an important part of it – how else would he earn his income?

Haha! I just found this rather amusing article.

JackAdams's avatar

The one reason why agreements are in place between transit companies and the police, is because the transit companies guarantee that the fine will be paid, if the driver declines to go to court, and the fact that transit drivers operate on a very strict time schedule, and the police agree that the passengers should not be inconvenienced, if the driver has allegedly committed a minor infraction.

Maintaining a schedule is very important, obviously.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I wonder that myself.

I’ve seen buses where the route sign (ie. 28 CHERRY HILL) in front of the bus flashed HELP, but I’ve never seen anyone react to it, much less police officers.

john65pennington's avatar

Bus drivers as just the same as other drivers, but different in a way. they are responsible for the people onboard the bus and the bus itself. yes, bus drivers do receive traffic citations and this normally will cost them their job. lane restrictions and speeding are the most numerous violations of bus drivers.

Smashley's avatar

It can happen. In France while on a tour when I was 13, our bus driver was pulled over and the cops took him out and talked to him for a while. They got him a cup of coffee and after a delay we were back on our way. The passengers speculated about the driver’s sobriety but in the end we made it to our hotel without incident. Just lucky I guess, but at least the cops weren’t giving buses a free pass.

Kraigmo's avatar

In some cities, buses are illegally too long when the bicycle rack is attached to them. The cops could be dicks and pull the buses over if they wanted, but instead they do what good police do: they ignore outdated laws and focus on important things.

Zaku's avatar

Probably if it’s reckless, but generally not. I can’t help but notice that places where police have given speeding tickets for minor speeding violations are also places where giant hinged city buses daily exceed the speed by the same amount.

To me, this is clear proof that the police have a double-standard. They correctly do not ticket bus drivers for driving safely but technically illegally, but they do do so to individual drivers.

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