AUGUSTA, Maine — A new state law will prohibit bicyclists from passing school buses that are stopped to load or unload students.
Gov. John Baldacci has signed the bill, which SBF reported on the status of in April, into law. It appears to be scheduled to go into effect in September.
Like motorists, bicyclists will have to halt for stopped school buses unless they are traveling on the opposite side of a road divided by curbing or some other physical barrier.
They will not be allowed to proceed until the bus resumes motion or until they are signaled by the driver to proceed.
The rules will also apply to people operating motorized bicycles, motorized tricycles and motorized scooters.
According to WCSH6, Sen. John Nutting introduced the bill after Winthrop school bus driver Dennis Farnsworth watched a bicyclist pass his bus while its stop arm was out and its lights were flashing, narrowly missing two kindergartners.
Farnsworth reported the incident, only to find that the law prohibiting motorists from passing stopped school buses didn’t apply to bicyclists.
Farnsworth told WCSH6, "It bothers me to think that [bicyclists] are supposed to stop at a stop sign. They are supposed to yield to other cars. But when it comes to the red lights on a bus, they don't have to stop."