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2nd UPDATE: Spoke to the police station, I need Support Big Time- The Bus Driver photographed my plate after WAVING me past

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Ok, so first off I've been driving 25 years, no tickets, no accidents. I have 3 kids (two who ride special needs buses). Very often the bus drivers wave people past before putting out their stop signs. 

So, I was driving with DD, and there was a bus, I was I would say slightly (maybe 4 feet) behind it in the next lane. The lane it was in is just a pull off lane, where it opens up and runs maybe 25 feet. For buses and things so traffic doesn't get jammed.

I SLOWED down, to almost a full stop. The bus driver didn't put out her stop sign, then reached out and waved her hand. Like I said before this happens all the time, if there are only 2 or 3 cars they will wave you past. I went by along with 2 cars BEHIND me. As I past I saw her put out the stop sign at the last moment as my van passed. 

I happened to stop at the next light. She pulled up behind me and photographed my plates, Ok. Then pulled up next to me she was laughing waving her phone (which in our district they aren't allowed to even carry while physically driving, I recall that rule passing). She YELLED out her window, "I have your plate, your so stupid" She was making childish motions, she stopped at a green light while I was in the turn lane. She took my picture, so I picked up my phone took hers. Which is when she screamed at me and left.

I came home and calmly called the bus garage. Like I SAID SHE WAVED me past. There were cars behind me that went by even. This is what the call with the garage was like-

Me- A bus driver took a photo of my vans plates after waving me past, she didn't open her stop sign till I was basically past her whole bus.  In fact... I slowed way down, ready to stop for the stop sign and she didn't put it out. I thought she was being nice like I've seen numerous other drivers do.

Garage- Well miss, the State recently passed a statute to allow for Bus Drivers to photograph Plates and drivers then turn them into the Police. We have several drivers who have become... Over Zealous in the matter.

Me- I actually feel she was and please don't take this wrong.... setting me up, she waved us on and the cars behind me as well. I have children who ride buses everyday and They stop then wait till cars have passed all the time. I assumed it was the same thing.

Garage- As I said Unfortunately several drivers have become Over Zealous in the matter. 

Me- She was laughing waving her phone, like she had won some great prize. I would like to know how I file a formal complaint.

Garage- The problem is that we don't handle the photos, the drivers hand them directly to the local police department, then they decide what to do. You will probably receive a ticket, and I am so sorry if you do. Like in any matter we have to figure out who the bad apples are before we can do anything.

Me- So, you are telling me that you have bus drivers basically setting up drivers? To try to give them tickets? I've been driving almost 25 years and never had a single ticket.

Garage- Like I said we have drivers who are very excited and over zealous in the matter. We are still trying to teach our drivers proper etiquette, and trying to figure out the bad apples. This is a recent change.

Me- So basically I'm just that's it. I have no rights in the matter.

Garage- You can try fighting it in court, but from recent tickets that have been fought the local magistrate doesn't listen to them. Chances are if the other cars had stopped she would've taken there photos also. It is a problem we are having, some drivers are turning in 50 photos a week, by the law gives them alot of leed way in the matter. 

So basically, I was tricked by a bus driver who thinks this is a fun game. I was basically told by the garage that this occurs, and that they have no way of stopping it. Nor can I fight it, when I did nothing wrong. We have buses, stopped on the side of the road often, they are trying to figure out where they need to go or whatever. I'm all for this when a car actually runs a buses stop sign, but I didn't. AND she waved me on. I asked my sons bus driver when he got home, and he told me this is really common. He would never do it unless it was super blantent. But that they had never even been told at what point a car should stop when the sign goes out. The rule is sign, then wait, then let kids off. Most the time he felt 3 or 4 car lengths behind/beside him should at least be given. 

UPDATE-

So I called the local police department, and was told in no uncertain terms a $1000 ticket give or take,5 or 6 points, and possibly more are on the way when she files her report. That I have no actual argument in the matter. I asked them why a bus driver should automatically be trusted and was told "They are a civil servent and school employee". I told the officer I was in my husbands van, and was told because I was driving it will come up when they run the plate I am his wife. They will then issue the ticket in my name. I can't believe this is happening, I've even threw up over the matter and am near a panic attack. I did nothing wrong, nothing at all and I have no power to change it. The officer told me they take running a bus very seriously. That's great, but I didn't. I told him she let me go, and his response was "The judge will say you shouldn't have gone, even if you've seen your childrens bus drivers do it. No matter what she did, you just shouldn't have." I asked when they expect me to be able to stop and was told it was an expection of the bus driver, in other words if she feels I should've been able to stop then I should've. What kills me, is that I only went because she was allowing me. I was basically stopped, and would've finished stopping. I hate this, to top it off this is killing my anxiety problems. I don't get why she should be allowed to do this? I was told that due to recent issues of people going around buses, but I didn't go around. I asked if I could request the bus camera be brought in and was told that our distict only has them inside the bus for students. 

So there is nothing I can do, I don't have the money to pay this ticket if and when it comes. I keep reading online about drivers not actually taking it in or departments ignoring it. However, around here our city is desperate for money, I live in the Speed Trap Capital of the world (yet never have recieved a ticket). I was basically crying after the officer told me I could do nothing, I can fight it but that this is a big deal. I didn't do it, and just feel like crap now because of this. The officer told me chances were if the bus driver was so excited about it, she will file it, and they will issue a ticket.


UPDATE: Well it's been 2 weeks and no ticket. I called the police department and was told they are swamped wiht Holiday issues. So fingers crossed the lady was just being a bitch. But then again, who knows.... I did speak to a lawyer who told me I wasn't the first he had heard of this happening too in our area. However, with the city needing money and the bus system being privitized anything could happen. He then called the district including the super, and was basically told that because the garage is privatized there isn't anything they can really do. They can make suggestions and complain but that is all. The news stations all said the problem with the story is the fact that its not on video. They have had complaints about bus drivers in my district texting, and having phones in their hands looking at the internet/ even being on them and if its not on video then from their experience people tend to side with sad looking bus drivers claiming they did nothing wrong and somebody is out to get them. 

by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM
Replies (11-20):
EmmaZate
by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:36 PM
2 moms liked this
It sounds like the city is asking them to do this, and they are telling you that you cannot do anything because they don't want you to. The thing is, as far as I can remember, it's against federal law to photograph a license plate for any reason, unless it is registered to you. You can fight ANY ticket, and don't let them tell you otherwise. I hope they don't make you pay it
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little.worthen
by Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:43 PM
Wow. What a sad justice system..
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lnrmom
by Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:44 PM
1 mom liked this

Another thing I'd be doing is writing a letter to whoever is running the buses, and copying the superintendant of the school about what is happening. Include a copy of that picture you took of her so that she can be identified. And insist on something to be done - give a timeline, say by Jan 15th. And that you expect a response by then or you would be getting in touch with an attorney. What she did is not ethical and something needs to be done. If the bus company doesn't do it, then the school board needs to do something because it is their vendor. If nothing is done, take it to the local news. If you're getting screwed, other people are as well.

Mrs.Kubalabuku
by Member on Dec. 17, 2012 at 9:46 PM
2 moms liked this

When you get your ticket, there should still be a court date.  Show up.  If the police station doesn't have a cop at the courthouse, you win be default, I believe.  There HAS to be two sides presenting the issue.

Also, have you considered getting a lawyer?  You can call the court house and ask if any lawyers are working pro bono cases.  Many volunteer hours for free b/c it counts as a tax write off for them.  Considering tax season is almost over, there is a good chance at least one waited to last minute.

Worse comes to worse and the ticket sticks, you can arrange a payment plan with the county, something you can afford monthly.

Also, write you local paper and call your local news station and tell them about this.  There is a decent chance others have been in your position, and if the public starts to get pissed off, policies will start changing.

6kiddies4me
by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:14 PM
2 moms liked this

Honestly since you got her pic acting so childishly I highly doubt she even turns in the pic of you. Sounds like she took more pleasure in getting an immediate rise out of you. I wouldn't sweat it. I love that you took out your camera....genius!

dkvhensley
by on Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Please try not to stress. Hopefully she won't turn it in.

acrogodess
by Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:26 AM
3 moms liked this

I would call the media and show them the picture of her driving with her damned phone in her hand when that is illegal! She could have an accident with her picture happy douchebag self with kids on the bus!

jett286
by Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 2:33 AM
1 mom liked this

Call the superintendants office and tell them what happened and what the bus barn manager told you.  You have her photo....go to the school board.  Do NOT allow them to rail road you!  Start calling the local media, write a letter to the editor.  Use your voice and calm down.  It's a ticket.  I know it's expesive and money is tight you may have to pay it but maybe you can make payment arrangements if you HAVE to pay it.  Take control of the situation and stop making yourself sick, you didn't do anything wrong and you just have to keep telling your story until someone belevies you.  Be willing to take it public though ~ then there might be other drivers like you who have been set up.

Just my opinion and what I would do.  March my butt down to the district office and demand to see the superintendant ~ but be calm and reasonable but let them know this type of behavior is unacceptable...threaten to sue the bus company.  YOu have the drivers picture...

Jeanette

"Love is a fabric that never fades, no matter how often it is washed in the waters of adversity and grief". -- Anon.
orngblsm
by Member on Dec. 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Call an attorney and get your legal options.  Many give free initial consultations.  Fight the ticket.  Entrapment is against the law and that is what she did.  If the police are claiming that she is a public employee, they should know better than to condone that behavior.  Even if you get the ticket, you may be able to sue her in civil court for her actions.  Again, speak with an attorney.  It is a shame you can't find the other two drivers  because they could be witnesses to her unethical behavior.  Call the superintendent's office and let them know what is going on and that the bus company is not going to do anything to stop this behavior.  Mention that you have spoken with an attorney regarding the matter.  They take that very seriously.  I'd be tempted to follow her bus with a video cam and see if she does it again.  Since she has done it to you, I would bet she has done it to others as well. 

splatz
by Sarah on Dec. 18, 2012 at 3:52 PM

I would do everything in my power to fight that ticket. Fight it until the very end if you have to.


Keep us updated mama!

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