Local school district has been using our driveway as a bus stop for months without our knowledge or consent - Concerns about property rights and liabilities

Local school district has been using our driveway as a bus stop for months without our knowledge or consent - Concerns about property rights and liabilities
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#21

You are seriously using a car parked on the side of the street as a comparison for a bus driving in the street and stopping in front of your house to load/unload a few kids? If the bus driver were to pull up to the curb in front of your driveway, get out, and go across the street for a cup of coffee, then yes, you’d be correct.

It’s unclear how the intersection is configured, but if there were a stop sign on your street, and 4-5 cars approached it at the same time and had to wait, would you also be complaining about them “blocking your driveway”?

And you are still missing my point about the driveway - your lot goes to the intersection. The road in front of your house is no different than the road beside your house. If legit, your concerns about kids “in” your driveway would be the same regarding kids in your grass at the intersection. Wanting the kids picked up 20 feet down your lot isnt accomplishing anything.


#22

As a former school bus driver, I would pick up the kids from your driveway, too. (If your house is in the upper left corner of the photo.) The reason is that we were always told not to block an intersection. If I was to pick the kids up on the corner, the intersection would be blocked. The solution is to move the bus stop to the corner of the house on the upper right of the picture. Then the bus could pull right up the to corner without blocking the intersection.

Did the school district specify that the bus stop was on your corner or did it just say the corner of x and y street? If they just specified the corner, the bus driver should have pulled up to the “correct” corner and have the kids cross the street. The next day, the kids would be on the right corner.


#23

Yes, the bus was doing this.

I’m trying to find out from our city if it’s legal for people to congregate on the sidewalk in our driveway. It’s impossible to do so without also blocking the driveway. So far, the bus drivers have picked the kids up at one of the corners since I complained.

Yes, we are responsible for clearing the corner sidewalk, no dispute there. We have up to 12 hours after a snowfall to clear the sidewalks. Since the snow fell overnight, we weren’t in violation for not having it cleared by 7 AM.

It’s highly unusual for my husband to take the time to shovel before he leaves for work. I usually do it later in the day. He was probably trying to do me a favor. He left for work after clearing the driveway as soon as the bus left.

The parents said that the bus driver that has the route now just started in January. The bus driver that allegedly ordered the kids to wait in our driveway in August didn’t have the route long. They got a 2nd driver shortly after that who then retired in December. It’s odd that neither the 2nd or 3rd driver questioned why the kids were waiting in a residential driveway 25 + feet further than the corners traditionally used. Not sure which, if any, bus driver would have gotten in trouble for this.

As I said this morning, they used the NE corner instead of the NW corner and I can tell you that my neighbor across the street doesn’t bother shoveling her walks. Not my problem there. They can report her all they want to. In fact, most of the neighbors don’t shovel their walks. We’re the only ones who shovel our walks regularly out of everyone at the intersection there and on the cul-de-sac.


#24

Yes you are.

You don’t want kids on your property.

Thats a “get off my lawn” person.


#25

There are obvious exceptions to the traffic standing law for school buses. They do it all the time.

School buses obstruct traffic in the normal course of their activity and they have special laws written all around them being allowed to do so. Read the rest of your states motor traffic laws and you should find the bits exempting school buses or defining them specially.

If what you’re claiming is true that school buses aren’t allowed to stand then every bus would be breaking the law dozens of times daily. Clearly thats not so.

The bus IS allowed to block your driveway while they load / unload kids.

Yes thats an inconvenience to you if you have to stop and wait for the bus so you can get out of your driveway. But by law all cars have to stop and wait for a bus to load/unload and thats how it works.


#26

You’re conflating the sidewalk, which has public access, with the apron, which is private property.


#27

Also, if a kid gets injured while on her driveway (apron or otherwise) you can damn betcha whose insurance company their parents will be filing a claim with.


#28

You’re worried about liability.

Why?

What is the specific liability concern? Is there a condition on your property that is unsafe and likely to cause serious bodily injury or death?

You’d better cover the abandoned well pit.


#29

The loitering statutes only address prostitution, polling places, and parks.

There is a state and local criminal trespass statute that reads in part:

(a) No person, without privilege to do so, shall do any of the following:
(1) Knowingly enter or remain on the land or premises of another;
(2) Knowingly enter or remain on the land or premises of another, the use of which is lawfully restricted to certain persons, purposes, modes, or hours, when the offender knows the offender is in violation of any such restriction or is reckless in that regard;
(3) Recklessly enter or remain on the land or premises of another, as to which notice against unauthorized access or presence is given by actual communication to the offender, or in a manner prescribed by law, or by posting in a manner reasonably calculated to come to the attention of potential intruders, or by fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to restrict access;
(4) Being on the land or premises of another, negligently fail or refuse to leave upon being notified by signage posted in a conspicuous place or otherwise being notified to do so by the owner or occupant, or the agent or servant of either.
(b) It is no defense to a charge under this section that the land or premises involved was owned, controlled, or in custody of a public agency.
© It is no defense to a charge under this section that the offender was authorized to enter or remain on the land or premises involved, when the authorization was secured by deception.
(d) (1) Whoever violates division (a) of this section is guilty of criminal trespass, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.


#30

Already answered.


#31

Trespassing, I’d say. Which is annoying. :grinning: The school bus did prevent my husband from leaving one morning, because he left later than usual.

I’d call running around and sliding on the snow/ice that fell overnight in our driveway reckless.

The police advised me to let them handle it. I’m not sure I agree with that.


#32

The school district never cared about blocking our intersection when they used the NW corner for pickup. They have to specify for the parents exactly which corner the kids are to wait at. I agree that if the bus driver was concerned about blocking the intersection, he should have stopped at the NE corner.

Something screwy is going on because they used to pick up and drop off coming from the same direction and using the same corners for both 7 AM/3PM and 8 AM/4PM. Last week, the 7 AM pickup was in my driveway Mon. through Wed., then the NW corner on Thurs. and Fri. The 8 AM pickup was on the NE corner. The 3 PM drop offs were on the SW corner on Thurs. and Fri., with the bus coming from West to East.

You want to see something? The school bus just came for the 3 PM drop off as I was typing this response. The bus dropped the kids off at the SE corner of our intersection coming from West to East. Take a look at this:

The view is facing South from an East-facing window.

It seems from day to day the parents don’t know what corner their kids need to be at going or coming.


#33

I’d call it “playing”.


#34

I love this thread.

The Bus did not prevent your husband from leaving for work, unless he asked the driver to move and the driver told him no.

In a city people double park (while sitting in their car) all the time on busy streets. When they do you ask them nicely to move and they move so you can get out.


#35

I’ve had loads of kids on my property, with my permission when my kids were growing up. My yard would be full of half the neighborhood kids because we had a couple of nice pieces of play equipment that my husband built. I’ve had toddlers, teenagers, and young adults here. As long as they didn’t cause trouble, they knew they were welcome here. I provided snacks. They asked me to intervene when someone caused trouble. Just normal, everyday stuff. I knew their parents, where they lived, and their parents knew me.

Those kids have grown and gone their own ways now. Since then we’ve gotten new families with new kids. We don’t really know each other that well. We say a pleasant hello in passing.

I don’t want their kids on my property, that’s true. There’s no relationship there. Although, there’s more incentive to get along because we are neighbors. That’s not true of the open-enrolled kids who aren’t from this neighborhood, just get dropped off, and the parent leaves them here unsupervised.

I’ve become more cautious - admittedly paranoid maybe - because of the neighbors directly across the street on the SW corner. Over the years, they’ve regularly called the authorities on various neighbors for various things. I don’t know whether the complaints were warranted or not. Other neighbors have told me of experiences they’ve had with her. Once she said something to me about a pile of enclosed garden waste in our yard. I guess we weren’t in violation, or I’m sure we’d have heard about it. But I did have an inspector come to my door several years ago because of a complaint he’d received about a 2 foot chicken wire fence we had around a garden in our South yard to keep the rabbits out. We had to take the fence down or get a permit for it, so we took it down. Now, there is no garden there anymore. I have no proof it was them, but I’d overheard them talking about my garden before in a not-so-flattering way.

Why is that relevant? Because her youngest kid was getting picked up in my driveway. She’d be the parent-most-likely to try to get me in trouble if her kid got hurt.


#36

I also apologize for not including a tree or a fence. :grinning:


#37

THIS! Thank you!

I sincerely do appreciate all the responses, even from those who disagree with me and think I’m making a big deal over nothing.


#38

No, there is no condition that is a hazard. You can see how clean and unobstructed our driveway is. I’m thinking specifically of the kids tripping and falling while they’re sliding and running around. Kids will be kids and it happens.

Being concerned about liability isn’t a new thing with me. Many years ago I was asked to officially babysit the boy next door on the North side for about 7 hours each day over the summer. He was around 10 or 11 at the time. He was friends with both my kids. I agreed, with the provision that I could take him to the movies with my kids on a regular basis and grocery shopping as I needed to. Wow, am I a horrible babysitter, or what?

I knew this boy had severe life-threatening allergies to several foods. His parents had discovered him not breathing on occasions where he’d gotten into food he wasn’t supposed to. Nuts was one in particular. In hindsight, I was probably nuts (pun intended) for agreeing to babysit a kid with such problems. One day, we went grocery shopping after the movies. They were giving out samples all over the store. I caught the boy reaching for a sample of glazed mixed nuts of some sort. Whoa, did I stop that in a hurry!

All the rest of the day I thought about what might have happened had the boy died in my care. When his Mom came to pick him up, I told her what had happened and said I couldn’t babysit him anymore. She wasn’t too happy about it, but I felt the risk of liability was too great.

Now where am I going to stash the bodies?


#39

I just had the recollection / realization that we used to actually play around a literal abandoned well pit when we were kids.

No bodies in it though. I’m sure thats one of the reasons we played around it : check for bodies.


#40

One question is if they’re allowed to appropriate private property to use as a bus stop when it’s not specifically necessary. I can only find vague references as to the procedures at bus stops without specific references as to whether the bus stops must be located at corners when available. In this case, it’s not necessary for them to use our driveway. There are 4 corners they can use.

I know that school buses can pick up kids in their own residential driveways and it’s commonly done on long rural roads, state highways, anyplace where there aren’t corners close by that can be used. I’ve been behind school buses on a busy 4 lane state highway and they’re stopping at every single house that has a kid that needs to board. Sometimes they’re stopping every 3rd or 4th house. They have the owner’s permission because it’s their kid being picked up at their house. They don’t have the entire street of kids gathering in one person’s driveway, especially at a house where no one residing there needs to board a school bus.

Here is the ordinance (bolding mine):

3301-83-13 School bus routes and stops.
(A) Designation of school bus stops

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent or designee to determine the location of all school bus stops which shall be approved annually by the districts board of education . Authority to designate or relocate subsequent school bus stops may be delegated by the board of education to the superintendent or designee. Bus stops and a time schedule shall be adopted and put in force by the board not earlier than thirty days prior to and not later than ten days after the beginning of the school term.

(B) School bus stop location

(1) Pupils in grades kindergarten through eight may be required to walk up to one-half mile to a designated bus stop.

(2) School bus stop locations shall provide for the maximum safety of pupils giving consideration to distance from residence, traffic volume, physical characteristics, visibility and weather conditions.

(3) School bus stops shall be established on the residence side of all four-lane highways and on the residence side of other roadways posing potential hazards to students as determined by school bus owners.

(4) School bus stops shall be located at a distance from the crest of a hill or curve to allow motorists traveling at the posted speed to stop within the sight distance. If the line of sight is less than five hundred feet in either direction, a request shall be submitted to the appropriate authority to install an approved “school bus stop ahead” sign at least five hundred feet in advance of the school bus stop.

(5) Each pupil shall be assigned and required to use a specific school bus stop except in unusual circumstances as approved by the school bus owner or designee.

(6) Each pupil shall be assigned a designated place of safety on the residence side of the roadway on which the vehicle is scheduled to stop. Driver must account for each pupil at designated place of safety before leaving. Pupils are not to proceed to their residence until the school bus has departed.

© School bus stop procedures

Drivers shall make school bus stops for purposes of loading or unloading pupils in accordance with section 4511.75 of the Revised Code and with procedures described in the Ohio preservice driver training manual (education.ohio.gov). The following shall be included in those procedures:

(1) Warning lights shall be activated approximately three-hundred feet prior to a stop whenever practical. A strobe light may be used if available and if conditions warrant.

(2) The bus shall be stopped near the right side of the paved or traveled portion of the roadway.

(3) The bus shall be stopped along the drive way entrance or along the curb when picking up or discharging passengers with special needs which require the use of special equipment.

(4) The parking brake shall be set at all stops whenever pupils are loading or unloading.

Operators of vehicles equipped with an approved brake interlock device are exempt from these requirements to set the parking brake

(5) The transmission shall be placed into the neutral gear for both manual and automatic transmissions.

(6) The driver must use an approved hand signal and eye contact with students outside the bus at any stop where students must cross the roadway in front of the bus.

(D) Each bus shall have a detailed route sheet on board which shall include the following:

(1) Direction to designated stops;

(2) Time schedule;

(3) Designated stop;

(4) Driver-designated place of safety;

(5) Number of riders at each stop location and residence side; and

(6) List identifying road hazards.

(E) If practical, each route shall have a responsible student designated to assist a substitute bus driver with each route.

I’d disagree that using a residential driveway provides for maximum safety of pupils. They can’t be assured that the homeowner won’t open their garage door and start trying to back down their driveway. Especially when the homeowners weren’t notified that kids were going to be congregating in their driveway on school days. It’s not usually done in this neighborhood. These aren’t rural streets here.