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  1. #1
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    Filed complaint about a reckless school bus driver

    I was on the ride into work this morning on a quiet side road with no traffic and got blatantly right hooked by a school bus. I had to whip skid to avoid slamming into the side of the bus. I had seen her coming out of my peripheral vision as I approached the intersection. She didn't so much as slow down at the intersection, whipped the wheel around like she was driving a go-cart around a track, and kept hauling ass down the road. I got the plate number, but not the bus number.

    I called the local school department this afternoon and reported her. They couldn't have cared less. The woman I spoke with said, "Were you injured?", I said no but explained again how close a call it was and that if it was a less experience rider or a young child, it could have been bad. So she then asked me what she would like me to do......How about your job? I said to her, "maybe you should explain to your bus drivers that they are driving 20+ ton vehicles not sports cars? Do you not take complaints about reckless bus drivers or should I just let the bus hit me next time, so you'll take this seriously?"

    That was a revelation to her, but she at least agreed with me the driver was acting recklessly.

  2. #2
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Time to attend a school board meeting........................

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  3. #3
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Probably didn't see you. You need to change your approach to avoid becoming a statistic. Become more visible. Assume they don't see you. Avoid arriving at an intersection at the same time as a large vehicle. It's on you to be safe, regardless of who's right or wrong.

  4. #4
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    It's scary that somebody that stupid is answering a complaint from a citizen. I wonder what her response would be if you pointed out that somebody that reckless was in charge of the safe transport of school children each day.

    I had a similar situation happen to me but got a completely different response when I called to complain. The guy I talked to wanted details and told me he could tell by the gps on the bus what driver it was and that he would deal with them and assured me it would never happen again. Of course I never had any way of verifying that he followed up, but he sure sounded sincere and put out with the driver.

    In my case it was obvious the driver saw me because he/she had to swerve partially out of our lane to get past me. I still don't understand what is going on in the pea brain of a driver who does that. Since it is so close so as to be a hazard when making the turn, there is hardly but a few seconds that would be lost just to wait for the cyclist to clear the intersection before turning right.

    Oh well. Glad you are reporting a near miss and not your obituary.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member okane's Avatar
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    Ask for the transporation supervisor .......

    ....if the school does their own bus service. I you do not speak with someone who seems to care, call the school district superintenent. If the school leases out their transportation, call the company and ask to speak with a supervisor. Again, if you do not speak with someone who seems to care, call the owner.

    You might also ask for a follow up call.

    I worked for a bus company where all such calls were logged and a conference with the driver ensued. Depending upon the severity of an infraction, immediate action was taken or the info added to the driver's file.

    We treated all such calls as important because in our litigious society, one accident could put a company out of business or cause them to lose the contract.

    Note: it is imporant that all calls be in an adult manner
    Last edited by okane; 01-09-14 at 06:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Not quite there yet Matariki's Avatar
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    This happened to me a few years ago. I had a camera and sent the video to the Head of Transportation. He immediately mailed me back and said he discussed my description of the incident and video with the area division manager and they were planning on taking disciplinary action. He emailed me the following day and said that they had fired the driver.

    The incident was that the driver ran a stop turning right in front of me and then immediately lit the bus up to stop for kids. I had to drag anchor to keep from plowing into the crowd of kids that stepped into the bike lane when they saw the bus. When presented with my complaint she told her boss that I was lying and that she always stops at signals and signs. I would have liked to see her face when they showed her the video.

    I really doubt that an action would have been taken if I did not have video proof. No employer is going to take strong action when they don't have proof.
    Any information, no matter how good, will always under-represent reality.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    In my experience school bus drivers are some of the worst. I was almost run down few years ago by a school bus. I was very visible and road conditions were good.

  8. #8
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    I think most school bus drivers don't really know how big the bus is. I agree with the above posters: if the person you spoke with doesn't care, go the next level.

  9. #9
    Fearless Isaiahc72's Avatar
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    I had a school bus driver honk at me before and it sucks to know that it's teaching little kids to be rude to cyclists.
    IC

  10. #10
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Bus drivers here are pretty good. Michigan requires drivers to be separately tested for driving large vehicles. Do other states require this, or do they let anyone just get behind the wheel of a bus?
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Probably didn't see you. You need to change your approach to avoid becoming a statistic. Become more visible. Assume they don't see you. Avoid arriving at an intersection at the same time as a large vehicle. It's on you to be safe, regardless of who's right or wrong.
    The OP did just fine, considering that they were being overtaken by the school bus, and by the school bus driver's actions, I sense that the OP was seen by the school bus driver. It gets tiresome hearing the many ways that cyclists have to ride their bikes as not to become a "statistic", again the OP did good in avoiding a collision, and in reporting the offending school bus driver.

  12. #12
    I WILL BE YOUR LARRY arex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Bus drivers here are pretty good. Michigan requires drivers to be separately tested for driving large vehicles. Do other states require this, or do they let anyone just get behind the wheel of a bus?
    Yeah, I think there's special license required for bus drivers, but I don't think it's the same as a CDL that truck drivers need.

    Something else to bear in mind is that bus drivers are both working part-time and for surprisingly low wages.
    "Ahab knew, baby...I lust." -- Vet-san

  13. #13
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynodonn View Post
    The OP did just fine, considering that they were being overtaken by the school bus, and by the school bus driver's actions, I sense that the OP was seen by the school bus driver. It gets tiresome hearing the many ways that cyclists have to ride their bikes as not to become a "statistic", again the OP did good in avoiding a collision, and in reporting the offending school bus driver.
    It's good anytime you are not run over. Complain all you like if you think it will make a difference, but I prefer to do everything in my power to avoid such situations. Blaming others and venting about it here may make you feel better, but does little regarding actual safety.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    My anecdote isn't bike-related, but once in a Vermont DMV office I was standing in line behind a school bus driver taking a vision test. The bus driver simply couldn't read the lines required to pass the test. The driver claimed he didn't have his glasses, and they passed him. He was elderly and seemed a bit confused as well. I was shocked, and looking back on it, I should have filed a complaint.

    You would think that the safety of our children would be the highest priority, but apparently that isn't always the case.

  15. #15
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    Can we please not let this thread turn in to yet another bashfest of all things motorized. If you are a vehicular cyclist you have been treated rudely at the hands of someone driving a motor vehicle. If you are an adult, you have been treated rudely by another adult at some point in your life. The driver likely saw the cyclist, the driver likely misjudged the cyclists speed and assumed she could complete her turn before the cyclist got to the corner. Since the cyclist was the one overtaken it was incumbent on the cyclist to assume a possible right hook. The entire tone of the o.p. screams precious, entitled... pratling. That's what the phone operator got and that is what turned them from cooperative to dismissive. It's all in how you present yourself. That the o.p. knew the driver was female and got the license plate of the bus... ... that just strains credulity. Either the bus wasn't going that fast as to be really dangerous or the o.p. just likes to look for trouble. I urge them to seek anger management therapy or they might find themselves at Best Buy looking at helmet cameras. Spoiler alert: It doesn't end well. A helmet camera will turn you into a frothing nutbag deliberately riding into preventable accident situations in order to justify the horrendous financial outlay for two cameras, video editing software and the loss of all your free time examining video footage for corroboration of your legal contentions. You have been warned.

    H

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spld cyclist View Post
    My anecdote isn't bike-related, but once in a Vermont DMV office I was standing in line behind a school bus driver taking a vision test. The bus driver simply couldn't read the lines required to pass the test. The driver claimed he didn't have his glasses, and they passed him. He was elderly and seemed a bit confused as well. I was shocked, and looking back on it, I should have filed a complaint.

    You would think that the safety of our children would be the highest priority, but apparently that isn't always the case.
    Surely not. You have done nothing but reveal your personal bias against the elderly. How old was "elderly". I'll bet money the guy wasn't over 55. I remember when 55 looked elderly to me but I was never so callous as to think that people didn't need to earn a living. Last time my DL was up for renewal I didn't exactly ace the vision test. I was expecting to need my opthamologist to write a letter to ODOT but the guy passed me. "Confused"? You know... at first I was going to write a post about how you were clearly remiss in not reporting the situation you witnessed. Now... I think its for the best that you didn't.

    H

  17. #17
    babylon by bike Standalone's Avatar
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    Tow Truck drivers are the worst. Followed by School Busses and then Taxi/Gypsy cabs. That's how it is.

    School Boards looking to conserve $$$ have so tightly scheduled school bus drivers that they are forced to drive unsafely to meet scheduling. That is simply how it is. My fear is that only deaths and lawsuits will stop it, but the School Boards are isolated by being able to blame these poor drivers.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneGoodLeg View Post
    I was on the ride into work this morning on a quiet side road with no traffic and got blatantly right hooked by a school bus. I had to whip skid to avoid slamming into the side of the bus. I had seen her coming out of my peripheral vision as I approached the intersection. She didn't so much as slow down at the intersection, whipped the wheel around like she was driving a go-cart around a track, and kept hauling ass down the road. I got the plate number, but not the bus number.

    I called the local school department this afternoon and reported her. They couldn't have cared less. The woman I spoke with said, "Were you injured?", I said no but explained again how close a call it was and that if it was a less experience rider or a young child, it could have been bad. So she then asked me what she would like me to do......How about your job? I said to her, "maybe you should explain to your bus drivers that they are driving 20+ ton vehicles not sports cars? Do you not take complaints about reckless bus drivers or should I just let the bus hit me next time, so you'll take this seriously?"

    That was a revelation to her, but she at least agreed with me the driver was acting recklessly.
    I think it's time for a letter to your school board representative. (You know, the one you get to vote for to see if they keep their job?) Point out that the crunched schools budget is going to take a hit, either for the lawsuit that they're going to lose if they keep bus drivers like that, or on the increased insurance bills after that lawsuit.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
    I think it's time for a letter to your school board representative. (You know, the one you get to vote for to see if they keep their job?) Point out that the crunched schools budget is going to take a hit, either for the lawsuit that they're going to lose if they keep bus drivers like that, or on the increased insurance bills after that lawsuit.
    Really? Their budget is going to be crunched after the financial ruin from paying out damages to someone who has no injury except to their pride? People get killed and the insurance payouts are only in the low millions of dollars. These are the posts that make me grind my teeth. No thought behind them, just raw emotion.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Really? Their budget is going to be crunched after the financial ruin from paying out damages to someone who has no injury except to their pride? People get killed and the insurance payouts are only in the low millions of dollars. These are the posts that make me grind my teeth. No thought behind them, just raw emotion.
    Trying to figure out how you misinterpreted my point...

    Do you perhaps think that a school bus driver who right hooked a person once will never do it again? And that, since that person was not severely injured, the bus driver should be kept on the payroll, without any further counseling or training?

    On the contrary, I think that driver is a hazard to every bicyclist in town. Cut off one and get away with it, hey that wasn't bad. Next one to be cut off could be the one that dies. Do you not want to prevent that next death? Is it OK to kill people because they're riding bicycles?

    And while I don't know about your school district's budget, if my district took a "low millions" hit, it would be discussed for a week on the front page of the paper.

  21. #21
    Member trafficdancer's Avatar
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    I got sideswiped by a school bus when I lived in Cincinnati. I was riding by the rules of the road on my 29er and a school bus barreled up behind me. My left grip skidded down the side of the bus and the lug nuts of the rear wheel were popping off my ankle. I bunny-hopped up on the curb as soon as I passed a parked car and the bus driver had the nerve to open the door and yell at me. I shot her the bird and then looked over the tip of my extended digit at the windows of the school bus. They were crammed with 1rst and 2nd graders, eyes-wide at the crazy guy on the bike flipping them off.

    Didn't get a number or anything like that. Made it home shaking like a leaf. Probably the closest I've ever come to losing bowel control.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by arex View Post
    Yeah, I think there's special license required for bus drivers, but I don't think it's the same as a CDL that truck drivers need.

    Something else to bear in mind is that bus drivers are both working part-time and for surprisingly low wages.
    I believe a CDL class B or C license with a school bus endorsement is required to drive a school bus, at least in Minnesota.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member Spld cyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
    Surely not. You have done nothing but reveal your personal bias against the elderly. How old was "elderly". I'll bet money the guy wasn't over 55. I remember when 55 looked elderly to me but I was never so callous as to think that people didn't need to earn a living. Last time my DL was up for renewal I didn't exactly ace the vision test. I was expecting to need my opthamologist to write a letter to ODOT but the guy passed me. "Confused"? You know... at first I was going to write a post about how you were clearly remiss in not reporting the situation you witnessed. Now... I think its for the best that you didn't.
    H
    You weren't there, so you really have no basis for anything in your post. The bus driver was easily 65+, and maybe a few years older. At the time I knew a number of elderly people and would have had no problem getting into the right ballpark as far as age. It's not unusual in small town America for people to drive school buses after retiring from some other occupation, so a bus driver of that age is quite possible.

    I stood right there and heard every word and could cleary see the lines he was trying to read. There were only letters on the vision chart, but he kept saying numbers. The woman administering the test told him repeatedly that there were no numbers, but he continued to read out numbers after each such reminder. Maybe he was just flustered, but he seemed more confused than anything. Then he told her he forgot his glasses and basically begged for a pass, which is what she did. (Why anyone would go for a driver's license renewal without his glasses is entirely beyond me. It doesn't show good judgement.) I have no doubt in my mind that he should have failed that vision test. Maybe he would have been ok with properly corrected vision, but I don't think it is up to an employee at the DMV to make such a guess. If you can't prove adequate vision, you should not get a license. End of story.

  24. #24
    Member Richk's Avatar
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    Not to make light of it but since you were not injured and no contact with the vehicle was made . Nothing will be done. I was on a 2 wheel vehicle a year ago Motorcycle when a SUV did an illegal u turn on blind curve caused my to lock up the brakes skidded within inches of the car . Dropped the bike police were called pis-ed me off no charges were filed with the driver since no damgae was done . yea it sure did s--k but just have to be careful and watch out for the idiots on the road .

  25. #25
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    It's good anytime you are not run over. Complain all you like if you think it will make a difference, but I prefer to do everything in my power to avoid such situations. Blaming others and venting about it here may make you feel better, but does little regarding actual safety.
    Some situations are not readily in one's control, and it sounds like the OP had one of those situations. Running around like a scared rabbit, and excusing certain motorists of their dangerous/poor driving habits is not going help in curtailing situations like the OP's.

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