Sen. Chipman Introduces Bill to Improve Public Transit Safety
AUGUSTA — Sen. Ben Chipman, D-Portland, introduced a bill, LD 458 “An Act to Require Motorists to Yield to Transit Buses.” The public hearing for LD 458 was set for 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in the Transportation Committee after which it will be scheduled for a work session and a committee vote.
“This bill is about public safety. There have been several accidents and injuries from cars zooming by a bus that was trying to re-enter traffic after it had pulled over to let passengers on and off,” said Sen. Chipman. “I believe public transportation should be prioritized and have the right of way.”
The current yield to bus policy states that the motorist must yield to a public transit bus traveling in the same direction that has indicated it is trying to merge back into traffic.
In the absence of yield-to-bus ordinances, motorists are emboldened to try to speed up and get around buses. Such action makes the roads more dangerous for motorists and pedestrians alike. With yield-to-bus policies in place, it would be clear that motorists must yield to a public transit bus that has indicated it is trying to merge back into traffic.
If the bill is voted out of committee, it will face further votes before the Maine House and Senate.