Dear Mahatma: On undivided multi-lane highways, such as U.S. 167 south of Sheridan, does traffic going in the opposite direction of a stopped school bus have to stop? I believe it is not so on a divided multi-lane highway. -- Louann Correspondent
Dear Correspondent: It is wholly a pleasure to hear from Louann, or anywhere in Ouachita County.
Your question is timely, given that school has restarted.
We carefully read Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-1104, "Operation on multiple lane or divided highways." A multiple-lane highway means a road with four or more traffic lanes and no fewer than two traffic lanes in both directions.
If the multiple-lane highway is divided by a parkway or dividing strip of 20 feet or more in width, and if a school bus is on the opposite side of the parkway or dividing strip, a driver of an approaching vehicle need not stop but shall proceed with due caution.
The law also says that if a school bus operates on a multiple-lane highway, the bus driver shall always load and unload passengers in a way that doesn't require a student to cross the road.
What about a multi-lane roadway with a turn lane? Stop for a school bus there! A turn lane is not a divider.
Dear Mahatma: I find your columns interesting but don't remember one about dogs and cats helping people drive. I see dogs and cats in drivers' laps, hanging out of the window, and laying on the back of the driver's seat. I am not as highly knowledgeable as you, but don't you think this might be a problem? Is this against the law? -- Spa City Realtor
Dear Spa: Right after this dropped in the in-box, we were driving through Our Town and doggone (pun intended) if we didn't see a small dog helping a woman drive her Lincoln SUV. Come on, lady.
This mulberry bush has been driven around a couple of times previously in this space, but not for a long time.
While there is no specific statute prohibiting the lapping of pets while driving, there is "Careless and Prohibited Driving," Arkansas Code Annotated 27-51-104. Part of the statute prohibits driving a vehicle in such a manner that would cause a failure to maintain control.
Dog in lap could logically equal crash could logically equal careless and prohibited driving.
We recently wondered about the location of the busts of Revolutionary War hero Count Casimir Pulaski, for whom this county is named.
Turns out there's one at Alexander's Salon on JFK Boulevard in North Little Rock. That building used to be a branch of Pulaski Bank and Trust. Tip of the hat to Patti Lienhart.
Richard Mitchell points to the bust in the Sculpture Garden by the Arkansas River. Esteemed attorney John Wesley Hall reminds us of the bust in the rotunda of the county courthouse, and another at the juvenile and district court building on Roosevelt Road.