Bill would require drivers to yield to buses trying to merge

Politics - Government

Transit buses like ABQ Ride could soon have the right of way. A state lawmaker is trying to push a bill that would force drivers to let them in when they’re trying to merge. 

Supports of this bill say this is one way to prevent traffic build up and rear-ending buses after they’ve finished at a bus stop. 

“The yield sign is only illuminated when the bus wants to reenter traffic so it’s a clear indication fo what the bus is trying to do,” said Philo Shelton, NM Transit Association President. “When we do pull into a stop we illuminate hazard lights, which is both lights blinking; and if you have a lot of cars in the cue you may only see one of the two lights and you might not be sure what the bus is doing. By having this sign in the upper left-hand corner, it’s clear what the bus is trying to do.”

The bill is referring to illuminated yellow signs that would be put on the back of the bus. 

Rep. Bobby Gonzales, who is sponsoring the bill, says these yield signs would only be lit up after a bus was finished picking up passengers and ready to move back into traffic.

This law is not mandatory, but if a city wants to go forward with this, one sign could cost up to $1,200. 

“The general rule we’ve had for years is when you’re going to merge into traffic, you’re the one that has to yield and I can understand how having this system in place would facilitate bus travel,” Rep. Cathrynn Brown, R-Carlsbad, said. 

If drivers disobey the yield sign with this rule, it would be a $25 fine. 

This bill was pocket vetoed last session, but representatives on both sides of the aisle say they think this could be a good thing for cities. 

It passed unanimously at the House transportation, public works and capital improvements meeting. It will go onto the House Judiciary Committee next.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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