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Trooper Steve explains why buses stop at every railroad crossing

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ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

[ASK TROOPER STEVE: Send safety question to Trooper Steve]

A viewer named John asked, “Do all buses really need to stop at every single railroad crossing? All it does is really mess up traffic."

“With 2020 being a frustrating year to say the least, I’ve noticed that a lot of common traffic behavior is starting to get on some of your nerves,” Trooper Steve said. “Normally, we see this type of traffic issue on a daily basis, and in the almost three years I’ve been here, I’ve never had anyone complain about this, until now."

Florida statute 316.159 specifically talks about the vehicles that are required to stop at all railroad crossings, even if the arm bars are not down.

“Within the law, it talks about vehicles carrying passengers for hire that are required to stop at the tracks,” he said. “This doesn’t specifically mean your average taxi, but vehicles like large buses or limousines would fall into the requirement to stop."

The most obvious one, Trooper Steve said, would be school buses with students on board.

“These buses are required to stop, open their door look and listen for traffic for that ‘just in case’ moment,” he said. “Then, lastly, any vehicle transporting explosives or any type of flammable material would be required to make that stop prior to crossing the railroad tracks."

The only time any of those vehicles would not have to obey by the law, would be if a traffic control device was put in place specifically to encourage traffic to continue, indicating that there is not a danger of a train crossing or a police officer at the tracks was guiding traffic across.

“Remember, being aware of your surroundings all the time while driving allows us to have a smoother experience from point A to point B,” Trooper Steve said.

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