Question: I know that when a vehicle is driving less than the speed limit, it has to pull over to let traffic pass if there are five or more vehicles lined up behind it. Does this law also apply to school buses?
Answer: Yes it does, under most circumstances. 13AAC 02.050(b) says that on a two-lane highway outside the city where passing is unsafe due to traffic or other conditions, the driver of a vehicle going less than the speed limit has certain responsibilities.
If there are five or more vehicles lined up behind them, the driver must pull over in the nearest safe area to let them pass. The penalty for not doing this is $60 and four points against your license.
The statute does not give any exemptions to specific vehicles, but keep in mind that the law does not apply to urban areas.
Holding up traffic like this becomes a real safety issue. When people get tired of following a vehicle going less than the speed limit for a long time, they get impatient and start to take reckless risks, such as passing in no-passing zones. It is because of this that we recommend you always pull over and let traffic pass if it starts to pile up behind you, even if you are going the speed limit.
It may not be right for the people behind you to speed, but I would rather see them do that than take reckless risks trying to get around you. Besides, the chances of us catching them speeding are greater than the chances of catching them passing in a no-passing zone.
If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, please send them to: Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to Chad_Goeden@dps.state.ak.us. The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.
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