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Dropped 'at' in Virginia Law Yields Acquittal in School Bus Case

Posted by on 12/03/2010 at 11:53 AM

Dropped 'at' in Virginia Law Yields Acquittal in School Bus Case (click link here for full story)

By Tom Jackman Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, November 30, 2010; 10:17 PM

Virginia law on passing a stopped school bus has been clear for 40 years. Here - read it yourself: "A person is guilty of reckless driving who fails to stop, when approaching from any direction, any school bus which is stopped on any highway, private road or school driveway for the purpose of taking on or discharging children." Yes, drivers must stop a school bus which is, er, stopped. Wait. Is something missing there? Indeed. The preposition "at" was deleted in 1970 when the law was amended, the statute's history shows. And a man who zipped past a school bus, while it was picking up children with its lights flashing and stop sign extended, was found not guilty recently by a Fairfax County Circuit Court judge. "He can only be guilty if he failed to stop any school bus," Judge Marcus D. Williams said at the end of the brief trial of John G. Mendez, 45, of Woodbridge. "And there's no evidence he did." . . .