If you've ever driven in any of Maine's larger cities, you've probably run into that moment where a city bus has picked up passengers at stop and is now trying to get back into the flow of traffic. It's about to get a lot easier of to do that now that a new bill signed into law by Governor Mills requires drivers to yield to those buses.

These stops never really go well, because drivers often are in such a hurry to get to where they're going they don't let the bus back in. This law aims to change that. It reads:

An operator of a vehicle on a public way that has a maximum speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less shall yield the right-of-way to a transit bus traveling in the same direction as the vehicle if:

A.  The transit bus is equipped with a yield sign on the left side of the rear of the transit bus that illuminates to signal the transit bus is reentering the traffic flow; and
B.  The driver of the transit bus has illuminated the yield sign and has activated a turn signal to reenter the traffic flow from a bus stop or shoulder on a roadway.

So what this means is that all "transit" or city buses, not school buses, will have to be equipped with a light up yield sign to let drivers know they are headed back into the flow of traffic. The Metro in Portland, City Link in Lewiston/Auburn and Community Connector in Bangor will need to add this feature to their fleets.

The law is set to go into effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns, putting it at mid September before the law goes into effect.

This legislature has been busy enacting all kinds of new laws this session. In fact, Governor Mills signed 53 other bills into law the very same day she signed this one. Think her hand is cramped?


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