A bus driver's most difficult task is re‑entering traffic from a bus stop.
To enhance the flow of traffic, improve transit reliability and make roads safer for everyone, Colorado in 2009 created the Yield to Bus Law. The law says motorists must yield the right-of-way to any bus with an illuminated turn signal and yield sign, allowing transit buses to merge into traffic from a bus stop.
Grand Valley Transit has installed a light on the back of some of its buses that flashes an illuminated “yield” signal. An accompanying sign says: “Yield to bus when light is flashing – it’s the law.”
Not all buses have this feature, but it is good practice for drivers to yield to buses regardless. As GVT continues to update its fleet, drivers should look for more of these buses out on the road.
When a GVT bus signals its intention to re-enter traffic, all drivers approaching from the rear or in the lane adjacent to the bus are required to slow down or stop to allow the bus to merge. The penalty for failure to yield is a moving Class A traffic violation, punishable with a fine of $15 to $100 and driver's license points.
Use good judgment and follow these simple guidelines around a merging bus:
- Always use caution.
- Slow down or stop to allow the bus to merge back into traffic.
- Safely change lanes if you no longer want to travel behind the bus.
- Do not attempt to change lanes quickly to overtake the bus.
- Do not speed up to prohibit the bus or other motorists from entering the lane.