This is a common placard found on a variety of vehicles, including school buses, public transportation, and any vehicle carrying hazardous materials (propane, prisoners, petroleum, liquid nitrogen, heating oil, node-gel, etc).

It’s a very simple thing, too. If, in its travels, the vehicle proudly displaying this signage happens upon a railroad, it makes a full and complete stop, looks both ways, and then continues on its way. Often times, alert drivers will turn on their four-ways as they approach any railroad tracks, to warn cars behind them of an upcoming “This Vehicle Stops At All Railroad Crossings” event. School buses, for some reason or another, always open their door once they have stopped, presumably to allow the driver an unobstructed view to the right. (On the contrary! As some kind soul has mentioned to me, and as I have verified with the Pennsylvania State Bus Drivers Manual, school buses are required to stop and open their door, to allow them to hear the whistle of an oncoming train, or the chiming bell from the gate, in the event the gate has malfunctioned as a train approaches, and fails to block the rails properly. Thank you, kind sir.)

I have noticed a disturbing trend, as of late. Many vehicles displaying this lettering simply do not abide by it. The Cumberland County Transportation Department has been one of the most notable offenders, at least in my travels. On 3 separate occasions, involving three separate minibuses, the driver has failed to stop. They do slow down, which arguably shows a degree of respect for their placard. However, it doesn’t say “This Vehicle Slows Down At All RR Crossings.” It most definitely says “Stops.” Hmm… In one case, a driver didn’t even bother to stop, or slow down, or even brake at all. He just went right through it.

Oddly enough, nothing happened. No explosions, no blaring alarms, no choirs singing from the heavens. Nothing. His wheels kept turning, as if nothing had just taken place.

If this is the case, why do they bother in the first place? Practice what you preach or stop preaching, I say. And I suggest a change:

”This Vehicle Stops At All Railroad Crossings, If I Feel Like It.”