Maine Revised Statutes

§2308. Overtaking and passing school buses

1. Receiving or discharging passengers.  A school bus operator shall activate flashing lights at least 100 feet before a stop is made to receive or discharge passengers. These lights must be continually displayed until after the bus has received or discharged passengers.
[ 1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF) .]
2. Stopping.  The operator of a vehicle on a way, in a parking area or on school property, on meeting or overtaking a school bus from either direction when the bus has stopped with its red lights flashing to receive or discharge passengers, shall stop the vehicle before reaching the school bus. The operator may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion or until signaled by the school bus operator to proceed.
[ 1999, c. 183, §13 (AMD) .]
3. Separated roadways.  The operator of a vehicle on a way separated by curbing or other physical barrier need not stop on meeting or passing a school bus:
A. Traveling in a lane separated by the barrier from the lane in which that operator is traveling; or [1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF).]
B. On a limited access highway where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway with the school bus stopped in a loading zone. [1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF).]
[ 1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF) .]
4. Use of flashing red lights restricted.  Except during a driving license examination a school bus operator may not use the system of flashing lights on a school bus for a purpose other than controlling traffic while stopping to receive or discharge school-age persons.
[ 1997, c. 776, §42 (AMD) .]
5. Registered owner's liability for vehicle illegally passing a school bus.  A person who is a registered owner of a vehicle at the time that vehicle is involved in a violation of subsection 2 commits a traffic infraction. For purposes of this subsection, "registered owner" includes a person issued a dealer or transporter registration plate.
A. The operator of a school bus who observes a violation of subsection 2 may report the violation to a law enforcement officer. If a report is made, the operator shall report the time and the location of the violation and the registration plate number and a description of the vehicle involved. The officer shall initiate an investigation of the reported violation and, if possible, contact the registered owner of the motor vehicle involved and request that the registered owner supply information identifying the operator. [1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF).]
B. The investigating officer may cause the registered owner of the vehicle to be served with a summons for a violation of this subsection. [1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF).]
C. Except as provided in paragraph D, it is not a defense to a violation of this subsection that a registered owner was not operating the vehicle at the time of the violation. [1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF).]
D. The following are defenses to a violation of this subsection.
(1) If a person other than the owner is convicted of operating the vehicle at the time of the violation in violation of subsection 2, then the registered owner may not be found in violation of this subsection.
(2) If the registered owner is a lessor of vehicles and at the time of the violation the vehicle was in the possession of a lessee, and the lessor provides the investigating officer with a copy of the lease agreement containing the information required by section 254, then the lessee and not the lessor may be charged under this subsection.
(3) If the vehicle is operated using a dealer or transporter registration plate and at the time of the violation the vehicle was operated by any person other than the dealer or transporter, and if the dealer or transporter provides the investigating officer with the name and address of the person who had control over the vehicle at the time of the violation, then that person and not the dealer or transporter may be charged under this subsection.
(4) If a report that the vehicle was stolen is given to a law enforcement officer or agency before the violation occurs or within a reasonable time after the violation occurs, then the registered owner may not be charged under this subsection. [1995, c. 65, Pt. A, §110 (AMD); 1995, c. 65, Pt. A, §153 (AFF); 1995, c. 65, Pt. C, §15 (AFF).]
E. Notwithstanding subsection 6, a person who violates this subsection commits a traffic infraction. [1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF).]
[ 1995, c. 65, Pt. A, §110 (AMD); 1995, c. 65, Pt. A, §153 (AFF); 1995, c. 65, Pt. C, §15 (AFF) .]
6. Penalty.  A violation of this section is a Class E crime which, notwithstanding Title 17-A, section 1301, is punishable by a $250 minimum fine for the first offense and a mandatory 30-day suspension of a driver's license for a 2nd offense occurring within 3 years of the first offense.
[ 1993, c. 683, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1993, c. 683, Pt. B, §5 (AFF) .]
SECTION HISTORY
1993, c. 683, §A2 (NEW). 1993, c. 683, §B5 (AFF). 1995, c. 65, §A110 (AMD). 1995, c. 65, §§A153,C15 (AFF). 1997, c. 776, §42 (AMD). 1999, c. 183, §13 (AMD).

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