Leadville News – October 20

Bus Stops: It’s All About the Kids

By Trooper Gary Cutler, Colorado State Patrol

It’s that time of year when the trees lose their leaves and parents lose their kids to the school system.  This means we have kids all over the place going to school along with other activities and that means we need to be more careful out there when driving, particularly around school buses.CO State Patrol logo.jpg

We’ve all seen those big yellow school buses with the red flashing lights and the stop sign that extends out of the left side.  Today, we look at what you should do when you see those all so important lights.

First, let’s look at how buses operate.  When making a stop, buses should try to stop as far right of the roadway as possible to reduce obstruction to traffic. The alternating flashing yellow lights you see when the bus is moving need to be turned on at least two hundred feet prior to the point where the bus is planning to stop.  This doesn’t mean you should quickly try to pass the bus when you see those come on.  Drivers should also begin to slow.  You have to remember kids also see those lights and sometimes run across the road to get to the bus.  So please be patient and know it won’t take long to get the kids on or off the bus.  When the yellow lights transition to the red lights is when the bus is stopped.  This means everyone must also stop. 

So here are the reasons a bus will activate its lights:  whenever the school bus is stopped to load or unload schoolchildren, stopped because it is behind another school bus that is loading or unloading kids, or is stopped because it has met a school bus traveling in a different direction that is unloading or loading kids.

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The weather can change fast at 10,200 feet, so be extra cautious around schools and bus stops. Photo: Jennifer B. Rogowski

A school bus driver carrying any schoolchild is also required before crossing any tracks of a railroad, to stop within fifty feet but not less than fifteen feet from the nearest rail and shall not proceed until the driver can do so safely.

So now, here’s the refresher on what to do when you come upon a school bus.  If you are a driver on the road and come upon a bus from either direction that has stopped and its lights are activated, you need to stop your vehicle at least twenty feet before reaching the school bus.  After the kids are off or on the bus, you are not allowed to proceed until the signal lights are no longer on. So make sure no one starts to go just because they think they don’t see any more kids.  You can only proceed driving again once the bus driver turns off the lights.

Now we answer the question on what to do on a divided road.  There aren’t too many of those in the rural areas, but here is what to do when you see one.  If the highway has separate roadways then you are not required to stop upon meeting or passing a school bus which is on a different roadway. For the purposes of this section, “highway with separate roadways” means a highway that is divided into two or more roadways by a depressed, raised, or painted median or other intervening space serving as a clearly indicated dividing section or island.  I would like to add to watch for those kids running across roadways though.  Also if children are crossing the road at an intersection make sure you stop for them as required.

Another thing to know is the driver of a school bus not only can, but is required to call in any vehicles that disregard the activated red lights and passes the bus.  Law enforcement will then take the information the driver provides and visit the other driver and will often issue a mandatory summons into court.  The driver then gets to explain to the judge why he or she failed to stop for a bus loading or unloading kids.  So if you see a bus loading or unloading kids, it’s best to make sure you stop.

If you care to read up on the law, you can find it in the Colorado Revised Statutes under 42-4-1903 (1).

Follow-Up . . . . . 

patrol car (1)I’d like to mention one last thing this month.  It is the goal of these articles to keep people as informed and safe as possible when driving in Colorado.  With that being said, it was brought to the attention of the State Patrol that information in the article “Bicycles and Automobiles” was viewed as biased towards automobiles and did not encompass the law as it should have been stated.

I apologize if there was confusion on what I was trying to convey when it comes to automobile and bicycle laws.  I believe if I had gone into more detail into some of the information I was providing in the article, it would have been a little clearer. We here at the Colorado State Patrol are dedicated to putting out information as accurately as possible.

I hope you enjoy these articles and will continue to read them in the future.  We value everyone who uses the roadways and our goal is to keep everyone safe.  I will strive to provide you with sound advice and safety measures to help you stay safe on our roadways.

Thanks, As always, safe travels!

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School buses pick up Leadville students at a bus stop in Granite to transport kids down to the Buena Visa School District as more parents choice to send their children out-of-district for their education. Photo: Leadville Today/ Kathy Bedell.

Leadville News – October 19

Hunters Help CPW Manage CWD

The high country is in the thick of the Colorado hunting season. And if you’re skilled (and lucky!) enough to bag a buck this season, you could also be receiving something special in the mail from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) folks.

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Donny Mascarenas of Leadville harvested this buck during the 2017 hunting season. Photo: Submitted by Karen Mascarenas

During the 2018 hunting season, CPW will once again be conducting mandatory chronic wasting disease (CWD) testing. The program allows the agency to collect additional information about CWD and how it may be affecting local herds. Voluntary and mandatory sampling is critical for data collection on this disease that impacts the long-term health of these animals.

Beginning earlier this month, CPW began sending out letters to Colorado rifle season buck hunters who had been selected for mandatory CWD testing. Thirty-one Game Management Units (GMUs) are included in the 2018 mandatory sample, which were NOT included in the 2017 mandatory sample. For complete CWD Testing and Submission Information, including a list of testing submission sites and their schedule of operations, click HERE. Be advised that there is a voluntary testing fee of $25 per head.​​​​​​​​​​​

CPW is also notifying hunters of other changes this year related to CWD samples and CWD-positive test results. The intent of these changes is to make the CWD submission and testing program more efficient and cost effective.

CPW will continue the reimbursement of costs incurred from processing CWD-positive animals. The standard rate will be up to $100 for animals non-commercially processed and up to $200 for deer and elk that are commercially processed. The maximum reimbursement for commercial processing moose is $250.

Updated information on CWD and the 2018 mandatory sample can be found on the CPW website.

Leadville LiquorsHonors Hunters

For most hunters, the sport of the harvest is the primary reason for getting out into the back country. But when they return home, it’s the stories from the trek that keep them entertained throughout the winter. And thanks to Leadville Liquors those trophy moments are being captured and displayed at the liquor store located at 1619 Poplar Street.

“We’ve brought back our Hunter’s Wall of Fame,” said Deann Skala, owner of Leadville Liquors. “So bring in a picture of your harvest and we’ll add it to the display!”

Leadville Liquors Wall of Fame

Bring your hunting harvest photo into Leadville Liquors and have it added to the Hunter’s Wall of Fame. Photo: Leadville Liquors

Conservation Programs Help Wildlife Thrive

Colorado boasts some of the most diverse and abundant wildlife populations in North America. Since the state is home to an astonishing 960 wildlife species, it’s easy to assume that Colorado’s fish and wildlife have always flourished. However, many of the state’s most cherished and iconic species prosper today only because of Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s (CPW) sp​e​cies conservation and wildlife re-intr​​oduction programs.

In Colorado, hunters and anglers fund more than 70 percent of CPW’s wildlife management programs.​

Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) does not receive general tax dollars to fund its wildlife conservation programs. In fact, hunters and anglers provide the primary source o​f funding for all state wildlife conservation programs through purchasing hunting and fishing licenses and habitat stamps.

Additionally, this funding model includes federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment, firearms and ammunition. This generates millions of dollars for conservation programs that benefit both game and nongame species. Lynx, moose, black-footed ferrets, turkeys, elk and deer are just a few examples of species that have benefited from these conservation programs. Its success is the reason Colorado is home to some of the most abundant and diverse wildlife populations in the world, some of them found right here at the Leadville National Fish Hatchery.​

Colorado Bowman Jug Shoot out

The Jug Shootout is held every summer at Colorado Bowman event for Leadville bow hunters to practice and demonstrate their skills. Photo: Leadville Today.