I am in Colorado. This morning I accidentally got in the wrong lane, and my only opportunity to move into the correct lane was if I cut off a school bus. Traffic was moving along (including the bus) at around 40 mph. My cursory search shows that the only Colorado traffic rules about buses are regarding a stopped bus picking up children. So, I believe I’ve done nothing wrong… right?

  • 5
    When you say "cut off," do you mean to change lanes in front of the bus in an unsafe manner? If you change lanes in a safe manner, there is no violation.
    – fred_dot_u
    Feb 14, 2022 at 16:11
  • 1
    Did you not have an opportunity to slack off and move in behind the bus? Feb 14, 2022 at 16:20
  • @fred_dot_u not unsafe manner, plenty of space, used my turn signals, etc
    – Meg
    Feb 14, 2022 at 18:08
  • @Weather Vane my turn was coming up…
    – Meg
    Feb 14, 2022 at 18:09
  • @Meg That's no excuse to drive recklessly. If it was unsafe to move over, you should have missed your turn and found a way to get back on route another way.
    – Luck
    Feb 16, 2022 at 21:52

1 Answer 1


Not a stopped bus "traffic was moving along (including the bus)..." - No violation "not unsafe manner, plenty of space, used my turn signals..." - No violation

At the worst case, the bus driver might have had to apply the brakes to avoid a collision, but I don't think that is described here.

Consider if you were the bus driver; would you have been upset at the "other you" for performing the lane change? I suspect the answer to that is no.

No violation.

References for actions of this nature are not explicitly described in C.R.S. 42 of the Colorado traffic statutes. The nearest description I could locate after examining these statutes covered reckless and careless driving, with fairly broad descriptions of actions considered either reckless or careless.

I did not examine nor reference passing a school bus which does not have lights ablaze, as the statutes in all states refer to those with lights and/or flags active when describing violations.

I was surprised to discover that Colorado statutes did not have an entry covering safe return after overtaking, other than to specify that it has to be done safely. On the other hand, Florida's reference using a specified distance is rarely obeyed (personal experience!) and probably not enforced much (personal observation.)


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