Paris woman ticketed following crash between a car and an MTD bus

Paris woman ticketed following crash between a car and an MTD bus

CHAMPAIGN— A Paris woman was ticketed for improper lane usage following a crash Tuesday afternoon between a car and a Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District bus.

According to a Champaign police report, Evelyn Hays, 63, of Paris was driving a car west on Town Center Boulevard near Ryder Lane at 1:31 p.m. The MTD bus was also headed west on Town Center Boulevard and had stopped at Ryder Lane for passengers.

As the bus completed its stop and began to move forward, police said Hays tried to make a right turn in front of it from the left lane of Town Center Boulevard to enter the Menards parking lot.

When the bus driver put on the brakes to try to avoid the collision, several passengers on the bus were hurt.

Two men and two women on the bus were taken to Provena Covenant Medical Center and Carle Foundation Hospital for treatment or evaluation. None of the three occupants of the car was reported injured.

Hays was ticketed for improper lane usage.

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Molly1 wrote on July 17, 2012 at 10:07 pm

If the bus driver accelerated so quickly from a stopped position, into a turn, apparently while passengers were still standing on the bus, that it jolted passengers enough to be hurt, then it sounds like both drivers should have been ticketed.

While not witnessing this particular incident, I know that I have witnessed, and almost been hit by MTD busses that turn into traffic and bully their way into a lane, instead of appropriately waiting for traffic to clear before entering a lane.

I have to wonder if that is what happened in this instance?

rsp wrote on July 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Illegal turn from the left lane. Just because the bus was stopped the driver of the other vehicle thought it would be okay to turn in front of it instead of waiting for a few seconds for the bus to move. 

Molly1 wrote on July 18, 2012 at 9:07 am

How was she to know that it was only for a few seconds?

I daily see busses parked in a turn lane, they sit there for 20 minutes on a break, and they do not always have their "not in service" sign on.  Or the occasional situation where a bus breaks down in a traffic lane happens too.  I don't know how long this bus was parked in a traffic lane.

The incident where I was almost hit, admittedly a couple of years ago on campus, the bus driver was stopped in a right turn lane at the curb, the light was red, so there were 8 to 10 cars in the straight ahead lane to his left that had right of way.  The light turned green, he cranked his wheels to the left to get into the straight lane, and floored it to cut off atleast a half a dozen cars.  Myself included.  The rear of the bus came within inches of my vehicle.  All I could do was slam on the brakes, yes, I was just getting started and going slow, but this poor driving could have caused my vehicle to be hit in the front by the bus if I didn't react quickly enough, and could have caused me to be rear-ended by the vehicle behind me that didn't see the idiotic behavior of the bus driver.

My only point here was that there is a failure to enforce laws equally against the MTD in my opinion.

How many stories have you read where a vehicle and a bus colide, and somehow it is never the bus's fault?

Bus falls off of a bridge?  Wind's fault.

Bus hits a snowman?  Snowman's fault.

Bus hits a five parked cars?  Parked cars' fault.

Bus hits a light pole?  Who put that light post there!

Okay but all kidding around aside, the police always seem to side with the MTD, and don't truely investigate the situation like a regular traffic accident between two cars it seems.

And the MTD rushes off all of the passengers that might be a witness to something that the bus driver did, so that the police only have a he said / she said situation.

The busses have already got video recording inside the vehicles, I guess what would be fair is for the MTD to mount a couple of cameras at the front and the back window.  And whenever there is an accident the police have the right to see the uneditted video, of what is happenning inside and outside of the bus, prior to issuing their citation.  And the video should be provided to the courts so that if the person in the vehicle wants to dispute their citation, that they have equal footing to do so.

As I said, I didn't witness this particular event.  Perhaps the bus driver was completely in the right on this case, but I know that they are not always in the right.

rsp wrote on July 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Actually the police talked to all of the passengers at the scene and all MTD buses have cameras mounted in the front window facing out. If you look you'll see it in the window. The drivers operate on a point system. Too many points and they go. If you have a complaint about the way one is driving then call and complain. Drivers who chose to cut off buses illegally don't help the situation.

Molly1 wrote on July 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Ok, how is my description of traffic flow from my situation, a driver cutting off a bus illegally?

As I said this was years ago, but I think I did call, never got any positive action from MTD though.

rsp wrote on July 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I wasn't referring to your situation. Some other comments have stated they have chosen to ignore the buses and their signals and just cut around them which just compounds the problem. They were very good about not blocking drives and only sitting on side streets when they needed too. Now it seems all drivers, not just bus drivers have become less considerate and safety conscience.

Molly1 wrote on July 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Ok, my apologies.  Yes people in general have lost driving skills in my opinion.  They are too focused on speeding past someone to gain an extra second sitting at a stoplight, or talking on the phone, or texting.  Driving courteousy is a thing of the past.  I find that to be true of almost all drivers on the road, including the so-called professional drivers.

But yes, it is never good to ignore information.

I ride the MTD occasionally, but I see mistakes from the inside of the bus as well as the outside of the bus while I am driving near them.  Are they the worst drivers on the road, no.  Are they the best drivers on the road, far from it.

It is obvious that you or a friend of yours works for MTD.  I don't mean to pick on them exclusively.  I see way too many terrible drivers on the road, that put people's lives in jeopardy every single day.  Trust me would I want to drive for 6 to 8 hours a day with some of the idiots that drive around our area?  NO!  I only have to drive maybe 30 minutes to an hour a day, and that is more than enough exposure to stupidity for me.  I having been a professional driver in the past hold supposed professional drivers to a higher standard than I do casual drivers, and quite a few of the 'professionals' in this area need some more training in my opinion.  I am sure that there are the exceptions of the good drivers at MTD as well.

rsp wrote on July 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm

I'm a frequent rider so I see the things the drivers do and how others drive around them. I also ride with other people so I get to see it from that perspective, too. I hate to be in a car in the north Prospect area due to the driving and so many people cutting each other off as a matter of routine. I don't think the roads were designed to accomodate the amount of traffic out there.

Marti Wilkinson wrote on July 19, 2012 at 1:07 am

The article indicates that the drivers of both vehicles were westbound on Towne Center Boulevard. The description indicates that the MTD bus was in the right lane, while Ms. Hays was in the left lane. There is no reason for a vehicle to make a right turn from the left lane, unless the right line was blocked due to construction work. I sometimes get annoyed waiting on the MTD's frequent starts and stops, but that wouldn't justify me making an improper lane turn. So, in terms of liability, Hays is the driver who was in violation of the rules of the road. I hope the people who were injured get the treatment and care they need.

I was injured in an rear end collision ten years ago, because the guy behind me wasn't paying attention and he failed to stop on time. I still have pains in my neck due to being whiplashed, but I've learned to deal with it. Then there was one occasion when I was backing out of my parents driveway, and hit a parked car across the street. It was dark and the vehicle was in my blind spot, yet it was still my fault for causing damage to the vehicle. The best I could do in that situation was take responsiblity and tell my insurance agent to help make things right for the owner of the other car. 

When it comes down to how the MTD drivers behave in general, it's a good idea to document and take photo's if there is a dispute. Perhaps the use of cell phone cameras can come in handy for situations where they may be liable. I live a block south of a bus line, and am more inclined to be impatient when I'm in a hurry. However, that is a time management issue on my part, and not the MTD's problem.

If I had reason to be concerned about the driving habits of employees, I would direct my concerns to the board that is the governing body for the MTD. The information on how to contact the board can be found here.




Mark Taylor wrote on July 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

What the dang heck do actual rules of the road matter? I want to take this opportunity to bash the socialisticalistic MTD, no matter what the fact are!!1!

So what if this driver made an illegal right turn from the left lane cutting off the bus, causing people to be injured? It's not her fault. It's always and only the fault of the dang MTD driver, no matter who actually did what.

Molly1 wrote on July 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

My point, which was obviously too complex for some, was that the rules of the road apply to all vehicles on the road, and should be enforced equally.

Since when is it legal to bully your way across lanes?

Since when can you go straight from the right turn lane, almost hitting several vehicles in the process?

Since when can you park in a moving lane for several minutes without a mechanical breakdown?

Since when can a non-emergency vehicle use emergency equipment to force traffic lights to change early?

But anyway, these questions may linger forever, since it is hardly like to be fixed in my lifetime.

Mark Taylor wrote on July 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Yep, that MTD driver sure did bully the woman who made an illegal right turn from the left lane by being there in the first place -- classic bully move.

And you're right -- even though you weren't there and there's no mention of the bus being a right turn lane -- you're absolutely right to just assume that the bus was in a right turn lane.

And you're also right that buses should never stop. Neither should deliver vehicles, mail trucks, pizza guys, etc. You're absolutely right that this behavior is completely illegal and there's no reason in the world for a bus to not be moving when passengers aren't getting on or off.

And you're right yet again that those dang buses are subverting traffic signals all over town. I see it a hunderd times a day, every day. They just press the secret button and all of a sudden the light turns green for them. Any fool can see that, right?

And, lastly, you're also right that the profoundly difficult and thorny legal question of whether someone who made an illegal right turn from the left lane is actually at fault and whether she should be held accountable for her illegal turn and the injuries she caused. Truly a difficult case to decide, one that is certainly "too complex for some."

rsp wrote on July 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm

They have the same thing on them that the fire trucks and ambulances have to change traffic signals but they only use them in a few areas and in certain areas. In case any one was wondering what some of that was about. I'm not explaining the rest.

lovie_01 wrote on July 17, 2012 at 11:07 pm

I believe the article states that Ms. Hays turned right from the left hand lane in front of the bus causing the bus to have to stop short, since the bus would have been in the right hand lane picking up passengers.

All to often drivers are way too anxious to get around buses when they should just slow down and wait for the bus passengers to load/unload. 

Orbiter wrote on July 18, 2012 at 12:07 am

From the description and the fact that the car driver was ticketed, it does sound like this was not the bus drivers fault. In fact, the bus driver might have prevented greater injury to the car occupants by the quick stop.  As to the comment about presumed standing passengers, (1) the article does not say they were standing, only that they were hurt, and (2) standing is neither illegal nor uncommon on the MTD busses--that is why they have handle-straps and grip bars--and during rush hours, many busses are standing-room-only, and sometimes even full at that. Our local MTD provides a great service at a low price, and a good many of us who do ride are appreciative.

That said, I would say that as a driver, it is very difficult to interpret all the flashing lights that we see on the back of busses.  They indicate at various times "slowing down" or "turning" or "stopped and boarding passengers" or "I forgot my flashers".  More than once I've patiently waited behind a bus (local and elsewhere) only to discover that in fact it was parked and waiting for its schedule, or the driver had made a toilet run, or something else, and finally I had to go around it anyway. In some cases busses are parked one behind another, and it appears the front bus is indicating a merge into traffic, but in actuality it's just parked--you can only see the left-hand flashing light, not all of them, because of the bus behind it.  The many flashing lights on the rear of busses have now caused me to simply disregard them completely.  I doubt I am alone in this.  You never know what they're trying to say. So I, too, go around the busses. Albeit with caution, since stupid pedestrians like to dart out from in front of stopped busses to cross the street.  Everyone just needs to be careful around the busses!

common_sense_isn't wrote on July 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Do you folks really have so little to do with your time that you respond to one another several times per day about the intricate details of a minor accident involving an MTD bus?  Ahh, small town drama...

rsp wrote on July 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm


Mark Taylor wrote on July 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Yep. Anyone who would take the time to comment on this article is wasting their time.

Molly1 wrote on July 19, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Before showing one's ignorance to the world, one might want to read all of the comments above where you are writing.

Not to mention a bit of research in that which one does not understand.



Mark Taylor wrote on July 20, 2012 at 8:07 am

Which they use all the time -- that's why you never see a bus stopped at a light, right? Any fool can see that this, as you say, illegal capability is all part of their nefarious plot...

And of course, to the point of this discussion, the mere presence of those buttons completely exculpates the driver who made the illegal turn.

sk8ermama69 wrote on July 20, 2012 at 11:07 am

It is crazy to think the police did investigate it before issuing the paris woman a ticket! She was probably rightfully ticketed!  Congratulation MTD driver 4 trying to avoid a accident good 4 u!

Marti Wilkinson wrote on July 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm

"My point, which was obviously too complex for some, was that the rules of the road apply to all vehicles on the road, and should be enforced equally"

I agree that the rules of the road should be enforced equally. In regards to the incident which happened, it appears that the driver of the passenger vehicle was ticketed for the moving violation which caused the accident.

However, insulting the intelligence of people who have commented on this article, is not an effective way of getting your point across. Have you tried addressing your concerns to the board that oversees the MTD, or discussed this with other elected officials? If I was in your position that is simply what I would do.  

common_sense_isn't wrote on July 23, 2012 at 5:07 pm

To quote Ms. Wilkinson's comment from another article 

"Hiding behind an anonymous Internet identity to trash an organization is both cowardly, and it does not display common sense. I think it's sad and pathetic..."

I wholeheartedly agree with you that insulting the intelligence of other people to make a point is ineffective.  I recommend giving your own advice a shot.

C-U Townie wrote on July 20, 2012 at 7:07 pm

The woman should not have cut off the bus. Period. If she'd done that with a school bus she would have gotten a ticket. I know school buses have "Stop" signs on the side of their buses to stop traffic, and the law reflects that. You have to stop for a school bus. They really need to add that for city buses. And that's not MTD's fault. There are people in this city who I really wonder how on earth they got a license. They speed around buses using the turn lanes. They speed around buses even when there isn't a turn lane. She should have known better than to turn in front of a bus. I mean really? She didn't just pass the bus, she turned RIGHT to cross in front of it. That's just ridiculous. 

MTD buses have a lot of momentum when they're moving. The same applies for when they break. It doesn't take much to move passengers. I'll say that 75% of drivers wait for passengers to sit down. There are plenty that don't. Of that 25% there are some that are just awful drivers. I've seen some turn in front of pedestrians in the crosswalk almost hitting them. I was on a bus last year with a friend and her children. I got off the bus first. Then she got off the bus with her 2 children in tow. One child got off. The other child was getting ready to hold the bar and have the mother help him off the bus. The bus driver shut the door and took off. This happened at the door at the back of the bus. There were four passengers who had gotten off the bus that were banging on the side of the bus to get him to stop. Once he did stop he threw his hands up in the air and got mad at my friend as if she had done something wrong. He didn't even apologize!

She wrote a letter to MTD complaining. The MTD wrote a very unapologetic letter basically excusing the driver's behavior. "They can't always see children at the back of the bus." So children are 2nd class citizens apparenlty and if you can't see them then tough luck. I can see why people have issues with MTD. It only takes one bad driver to make a bad name for the entire company. They really need to work with reviewing their drivers and taking complaints seriously. 

I can't fault them all, though. There are some drivers who go so above and beyond with their service it's really amazing. 


In this argument. I have to fault the woman. That was just STUPID on her part. There's a reason they make you take your driving test again when you get to a certain age. 

george_bailey_1945 wrote on December 13, 2012 at 10:12 am

MTD budget was $42m last year. For that amount, gov't could have purchased a new compact car for every frequent rider (excluding the students who ride MTD a couple blocks to/from their apartment/dorm). MTD is totally out of control.

tater12 wrote on May 23, 2013 at 10:05 am

That's scary!!!!  That driver could have run over a child!!

I agree that the driver of the car in the article was at fault.  Turning in front of that bus was a bad move.  The driver was at fault...the bus was not.  In this case.

But I also agree that, in general (not this specific bus driver), it does seem like the busses can be bullies.  Considering they're being paid to drive and serve the public, I feel like they should be held to a higher skill set of driving skills and, most importantly, awareness.  That's the big one--awareness.  I've had a bus pull out right in front of me numerous times or had them bully their way into a lane.  Why?  I don't know.  They could have waited 5 seconds just like i'm expected to wait for others.  I don't know if they couldn't see me or just didn't care because they were bigger.  My point being that because they're bigger and because they hold many passengers they should be checking and double checking.  They're being paid to do so.  What happened above with the kid is unexcusable!  What if that kid had partially gotten out and then he'd run him over?  Ugh, it's awful to think about even!  Of course they have blind spots and of course accidents will  happen...i'm not talking about that.  I'm more reffering to generalities and that pretty much anyone you say "MTD" to in this town has at least a dozen stories about a bus almost hitting their car or them personally as a pedestrian.

I also ride MTD sometimes and have cringed numerous times as we bolted to the left or right cutting off cars.  I've witnessed a driver using their phone (and yes i reported it).  All different drivers pretty much each time.

Anyway, my point.  Yes there are crappy drivers out there.  Jim Bob and Mary Sue might be awful and darting in front of people.  They should be more careful and learn better skills.  BUT they're not being paid to drive!  If you're being paid to drive (especially if you're driving other people) then you should be dang good at it and hold yourself to a higher well as use more caution.  Shoot, if you're paid to do anything then you should be doing it better than the average joe.  It's your job.