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Road Rule Reminder. 77: Give way to buses pulling out from bus stops.

By Sgt.Bungers - 13 January 2010 46

A rule that in my experience, many drivers in Canberra are unaware of, or simply choose to ignore.

77 Giving way to buses.
(1) A driver driving on a length of road in a built-up area, in the left lane or left line of traffic, or in a bicycle lane on the far left side of the road, must give way to a bus in front of the driver if:
(a) the bus has stopped, or is moving slowly, at the far left side of the road, on a shoulder of the road, or in a bus stop bay; and
(b) the bus displays a give way to buses sign and the right direction indicator lights of the bus are operating; and
(c) the bus is about to enter or proceed in the lane or line of traffic in which the driver is driving.
Offence provision.

In the ACT, a driver of a vehicle who fails to give way to a bus is liable to loose 3 demerit points.

Give Way to Buses

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46 Responses to
Road Rule Reminder. 77: Give way to buses pulling out from bus stops.
milsey2010 4:26 pm 13 Jan 10

Common sense really: a bus is bigger than a car so give way…

damien haas 4:13 pm 13 Jan 10

This is one of my pet peeves. drivers should slow when they see a bus at the side of the road, in expectation it wll pull out momentarily. The number of times i’ve seen the bus pull out and drivers honk their horn in petty anger is uncountable. Every small percent gained in trip times helps the public transport system function, and makes it more attractive to the general public. Running on time helps this.

I also think that there should be dedicated bus lanes and priority sensors for traffic lights on all buses so they dont have to stop at red lights with the commuting car public.

FYI i reviewed the REDEX system recently (on my blog at: http://onfourwheels.blogspot.com/2009/12/redex-one-month-on-review.html )and it seems to work well. Im not sure if it is attracting the required passenger numbers though.

eh_steve 4:06 pm 13 Jan 10

I support the thinking that bus drivers should wait a couple of seconds before launching out, it’s the same principle as indicatin 30m before a turn, to provide forewarning.

And PB, you do lose points rather than gain them, it gets to a point where you only have 4, 0 or whatever points left, and you get them back after a certain amount of time (anyone know what that is?).

grump 3:47 pm 13 Jan 10

Jim Jones – here we go again – bile on, spit. Do you bother reading posts yourself – they may have right of way but that means to pull out safely, not flick and go with no observance of traffic. Pulling out in to a car already alongside is their fault, not the car’s. I do observe to see what they will do but one cannot stop behind them all day in a flow of traffic on the off chance they decide, ‘now’, to come out. As others have posted, some bus drivers will observe traffic flow once they indicate and then pull out – if I see an indicator come on I will slow/stop to allow then to enter the road, but I short of stopping behind every bus halted at a stop until such time as they choose to indicate to come out, which is what you appear to want to happen, the reality of the world is that whatevre the law says, they still have a requirement, as do all road users to drive safely, as do we to allow them to enter when we can.

There are a number of bus drivers who believe in the letter of the law it would appear and flick and go with no observance of conditions. e.o.s.

now, flame away James, vitriol shields at 100.

Pommy bastard 3:38 pm 13 Jan 10

In the ACT, a driver of a vehicle who fails to give way to a bus is liable to loose 3 demerit points.

Surely one would gain three demerit points?

Drivers convicted of certain driving-related offences have demerit points recorded on their records … Drivers convicted of certain driving-related offences have demerit points recorded on their records. It is a common misconception that drivers “lose” points due to convictions for certain traffic offences.
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/demerit.shtml http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/demerit.shtml

Mike Bessenger 3:09 pm 13 Jan 10

When bus drivers learn the general road rules (and drive by them), I will adhere to this rule. Until then, stuff ’em.

DarkLadyWolfMother 3:08 pm 13 Jan 10

Jim Jones said :

They have right of way. How does ‘might is right’ come into it at all?

See (b) in the road rule.

Jim Jones said :

The reason bus drivers put on their indicators and pull out ‘regardless of traffic’ is because, if they didn’t, no-one would give way to them (see “narcissistic driving habits of the Canberran” vol. 24) and they’d never get anywhere. It’s the ‘traffics’ responsibility to give way to the bus, not the other way around.

How can one give way to a bus when there is no warning they’re about to pull out?

I have seen bus drivers put on the indicator, wait a ‘reasonable’ time, then begin to move and pull out. This gives ample warning to those that know (or care) about the law, and leaves those that don’t in exactly the same position as if the bus had just pulled out like an idiot.

bd84 2:38 pm 13 Jan 10

Creekgirl said :

I am aware of and adhere to this road rule. However, some bus drivers take advantage of this rule. On many occasians I have stopped behind a bus with it’s right indicator on and the bus does not more for around a minute. Or, the bus driver turns on the indicator and pulls out at the same time, irrespective of whether you are beside them or not.

I think both bus drivers and others drivers should take more care with this road rule.

The first occasion may not always be the drivers fault due to the need to deal with passengers getting on the bus could cause a delay. Although I have never seen a bus with its indicator on for “a minute” without pulling out.. 15 seconds or so at most. The second situation I have seen on occasion, but in 95% of cases the car being beside the bus as it pulls out is normally due to the driver of the car not obeying the give way rule and attempting to beat the bus. On most occasions the bus drivers avoid an accident by waiting for someone to obey the law and give way.

grump said :

we’ve had this discussion before and while the above 3 points are acknowledged, I am fed up with the number of times “might is right” is the bus driver’s attitude, and it’s indicator on and go – regardless of traffic

It would take some common sense that in most occasions other traffc should give way to the bus changing lanes, but then not people have enough brain cells to realise that buses need to be in particular lanes to let passengers off and on or to make a forthcoming turn and they do not have the option of going another route if they miss a turn. The majority of drivers I have seen will stick it’s indicator on and keep it on until someone lets them in.

But as with any other driver on the road, they don’t always do proper mirror checks and on occasion I’ve nearly been taken out by a bus trying to change lanes. Having said that, the problem is more common in car drivers indicating and changing lanes whether there’s room or not, and an epidemic in motorcyclists who think they can do whatever they want because they’re small enough to fit.

nutter 2:15 pm 13 Jan 10

Questions for the legalists out there in relation to point C.

If a bus pulls our from a bus stop on a two lane road with their indicator on and I am in the right hand lane am I compelled to give way or is the give way rule only applicable to the lane they’re in?

I ask because this situation arose when I was around halfway up the length of the bus when he started to enter my lane and chose to accelerate in front of the bus rather than throw out the anchors. A little further up the road was a set of traffic lights at which we were both turning right, the bus driver pulled right up behind my car and commenced gesticulating angrily towards me suggesting I had been in the wrong. Who was in the right?

andym 2:10 pm 13 Jan 10

I hate when they pull out, then proceed to dawdle along at 60km/h or less in 80km/h zone because they are ahead of schedule. Grrrrr.

Jim Jones 1:56 pm 13 Jan 10

grump said :

we’ve had this discussion before and while the above 3 points are acknowledged, I am fed up with the number of times “might is right” is the bus driver’s attitude, and it’s indicator on and go – regardless of traffic

Did you even read the post before responding?

They have right of way. How does ‘might is right’ come into it at all?

The reason bus drivers put on their indicators and pull out ‘regardless of traffic’ is because, if they didn’t, no-one would give way to them (see “narcissistic driving habits of the Canberran” vol. 24) and they’d never get anywhere. It’s the ‘traffics’ responsibility to give way to the bus, not the other way around.

Helen 1:44 pm 13 Jan 10

So if the bus pulls out without indicating we don’t have to give way? 🙂

I give buses (and trucks for that matter) a wide berth on the road. Buses can be fairly unpredictable, especially if you’re driving in an unfamiliar part of town and you don’t know the bus routes.

Trucks I avoid because I have seen way too many near misses. As wrong as the “might is right” attitude can be, I’d still prefer to give way/get out of the way rather than get smeared all over the road.

Creekgirl 1:23 pm 13 Jan 10

I am aware of and adhere to this road rule. However, some bus drivers take advantage of this rule. On many occasians I have stopped behind a bus with it’s right indicator on and the bus does not more for around a minute. Or, the bus driver turns on the indicator and pulls out at the same time, irrespective of whether you are beside them or not.

I think both bus drivers and others drivers should take more care with this road rule.

grump 1:22 pm 13 Jan 10

we’ve had this discussion before and while the above 3 points are acknowledged, I am fed up with the number of times “might is right” is the bus driver’s attitude, and it’s indicator on and go – regardless of traffic

youami 1:09 pm 13 Jan 10

Ignorance of the law highlights that we as Canberra drivers are spoilt with good roads and nanny-state style road markings and traffic signals, so when it comes to driver discretion (despite a sign on the bus telling you) most drivers tend to neglect their duty and responsibility… I always give way to buses pulling out especially in case the bus drivers doesn’t see me, the bus will win. Is the bus driver allowed to record number plates of drivers who disregard the law in the same way as emergency vehicles can when drivers fail to move out of the way in an emergency? A shame ratetheplate isn’t up anywmore. I support name and shame!

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