Here are some comments from Road Warrior readers:

Don’t pass school buses

What the heck is going on in Sonoma County?  Has everyone forgot how to drive?  I have seen multiple cars passing stopped school buses on both Dutton Road, Hearn and Stony Point.  This is when the school bus is stopped with red lights flashing.  Is all of law enforcement at the donut shop or do we just chalk this up to the same as running red lights and passing on the double yellow, that the rules of the road don’t apply in Sonoma County?  It sure would be nice to see a little more law enforcement going on.

Dylan of Santa Rosa

Highway 12-101 merge

As a daily commuter who exits to downtown Santa Rosa from Highway 101, I am in constant danger of being clobbered by some idiot who coming off of Highway 12 passes the merging traffic illegally on the right to get ahead. This is a daily occurance. While cars are trying to merge on and off of 101, it is difficult to see (or impossible if the vehicles are large or trucks)  a third vehicle illegally maneuvering behind. I understand the purpose of the paved shoulder is there for emergencies but when it becomes an additional “lane” for illegal use, it should be blocked off with bollards. OR a cop can sit there and max out his ticket quota. Maybe then people will put public safety ahead of their own selfish desire to be first!



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  1. Frank

    Thank God I have moved to Healdsburg !

    December 14th, 2012 6:40 pm

  2. Darryl

    Re Hiway 12/101 interchange — whoever designed this must have had their head in a very dark place! Traffic from 12E to 101NB is on a collision course with traffic from 12W to 101NB and the rules of the road don’t seem to apply.

    A second comment regarding motorcycles — are they not subject to the same speed limits as automobiles? One more than one occasion, while I have been driving at the posted speed limit within the SR city limits I have been passed by a motorcycle going a good 10-15 MPH faster. And whoever came up with the lame idea that motorcycles can function in an unmarked “3rd lane” which is essentially a non-existent lane between two actual lanes of traffic. I almost lost a rear-view mirror recently by a motorcycle who squeezed into the space between my vehicle and the one on my right. Dumb idea to make this legal.

    December 15th, 2012 6:31 am

  3. Steve Klausner

    The Highway 12-101 merge is going to get a lot worst if S.R. and SMART have their way and build high density housing at Railroad Square. I know this proposed as “transit village” but every unit will include parking for 2 cars.

    December 15th, 2012 7:14 am

  4. kelly

    Every morning I stand at a bus stop for my kindergartener on River Rd and NO ONE stops for the flashing red lights or the stop sign that goes out when these lights come on. At night they are even worse because when the bus pulls in and backs up to let children off the people fly in and attempt to go around the bus before it gets done backing up. When we walk around the bus to go home there are cars trying to slide past the bus into Hilton Park driveway. It is a nightmare and sooner or later the idiot in the BLUE MUSTANG is going to hit one of our children.

    December 15th, 2012 9:50 am

  5. Tim

    Darryl,I am guilty of pulling in between cars,but only at a stoplight.When the light changes,I pull away at a more brisk pace,so I am not caught among 3~4 thousand pound vehicles.The safest place for ME,is riding anywhere but next to or around cars.BTW,lane splitting is legal,here in California….YMMV

    December 15th, 2012 9:59 am

  6. mel

    Ive noticed that school bus drivers are at fault as well. The bus drivers drive so aggressively and it really scares me. That is the the reason my child does not take the bus. Many times ive been in the school parking lot and a bus driver will just pull out and not even care that he is about to hit me. I always try to give the right of way to school buses especially when it is full of children, but the bus drivers need to realize that they too must not assume that they always will be given the right of way by every driver out there. Everyone needs to remember that we must all cooperate out there on the roads because then maybe we would have less accidents

    December 15th, 2012 10:19 am

  7. Ray

    If you read California Vehicle Code 22454, only if the road is one lane in either direction or not divided do you have to stop and not pass when approaching a school bus from either direction with red lights flashing and stop sign down. If the road has 2 or more lanes for each direction or is divided, stopping is not required.

    December 15th, 2012 11:42 am

  8. matthew hardisty

    their is too may stupid idiot’s on the road that don’t even care about road safety. having police or CHP long the freeway will not do any good. ALL stupid driver don’t care about anyone but them self. only thing they care about is getting to work on time because they were too lazy to wake up in time and run all the red lights and all the stop signs. cross walk isn’t much safer either when crossing it, specially right now on holiday season.

    December 15th, 2012 12:54 pm

  9. cookie

    I’ve seen plenty of cars pass stopped school buses on corby, hearn, petaluma hill and others, people think they can because the law is not enforced. I’ve never seen a car pulled over for this violation. Police should follow the school buses if they need to pad city coffers.

    December 15th, 2012 3:48 pm

  10. Rosco

    As a certified school bus driver in Sonoma County, I can tell you first hand that the red light runners are out of control. I was making a red light stop in Petaluma on Thursday afternoon and not only did a driver not stop for my reds but he hit the sign on my bus with his mirror on his truck and did not bother to stop to see if he had done any damage. The CHP would love to have a chat with that driver. To clarify for you all, We turn our ambers on 200 feet before the stop. We signal that we are pulling over at 100 feet. When we come to a full and complete stop, we turn on our reds amediatly and let the student out. The CHP does not allow us to wait and let traffic clear before we turn on our reds anymore. That is the law.The fact that the ambers are on means that the reds will be coming on next. Just like a signal light. That is your cue that the reds are emminent. If you see the ambers coming on then you know it’s time to stop for the reds. We try to make our stop as fast as allowed to not impede the traffic. As far as bad bus drivers go, get the number of the bus and whatever company name is on the side and call them and they will be proactive to your complaint. All in all, A school bus driver is highly trained and skilled to meet the rigors of being on the road in this county all day long. Please stop for the reds.

    December 15th, 2012 4:27 pm

  11. DZerach

    Thumb through the driver’s manual. Not the CVC. For some people, better worded, you will CYA better by reading the manual. There’s also a reason why a separate section was typed up for the driver’s manual called , “AROUND CHILDREN” as some of us aren’t ever, apparently. “…children may suddenly dart into the street (who knew?) Also, many children have not yet developed the ability to judge speeds and distances well enough to cross streets safely when cars are moving fast.”

    Clarification — You must STOP if the bus is flashing red lights ON THE OTHER SIDE FROM YOU on a road being driven that is single lane in each direction. Only If the school bus is on the other side of one type of road only — two or more lanes in each direction — then do you NOT need to STOP.

    Multilane highway exception — It’s just because a school bus is not going to let kids off at a place where they then have to cross four whole lanes of multidirectional traffic without the further assistance of traffic engineering — flashing lights etc. However, it doesn’t mean you don’t adjust speed to conditions! Expect the unexpected from children to save a life.

    (CVC §22454) “The law requires you remain stopped as long as the red lights are flashing. If you fail to stop, you may be fined up to $1,000 and your driving privilege could be suspended for one year.” Since we are only speaking technically, why rummage for coins by charging for access to the ocean when you can move in and gather this amount of dough for the coffers.

    December 15th, 2012 5:52 pm

  12. LeeRoy

    I travel Hwy 12 EB to Downtown SRosa daily and pull to the right lane as I’m not merging onto Hwy 101 so I often signal and move RIGHT to flow around the stopped cars waiting to get onto Hwy 101. (I signal, look and merge when safe avoiding the WB Hwy 12 traffic and Hwy 101 exiting traffic)
    Yes I do, at times, cross 2 tires over the solid white line (again on the right) and that allows me to move up toward 3rd Street and cars behind me can move up inline for Hwy 101.
    It is a very poorly designed interchange and often backs onto Hwy 12 in all direction!
    Worse to me is the Davis Street to SB Hwy 101/Hwy 12 two lanes go straight (one turns left or straight, the other right or straight) People in the Center (Left or Straight) will sometimes encroach into the Right or Straight lane pushing the car next to them (often me) off the road into Hyatt Parking area to avoid a crash. They have their OWN lane to the left. Refrain from crossing into the right lane because it goes straight too! (then I merge to WB Hwy 12 completely avoiding Hwy 101)
    And I ride a motorcycle too so its more important to keep from crossing into my lane! (and I rarely lane split, just FYI)

    December 17th, 2012 4:45 pm

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