School Bus SafetySeptember 17, 2018
School is back in session, which means thousands of students will be riding a bus to and from school each day. While there are very clear traffic laws in place about passing a stopped school bus, an alarming number of motorists fail to obey these laws, endangering the lives of children as they cross the street. Even with the increased number of traffic cameras installed and tickets issued, the number of motorists who drive past school buses when the red lights are flashing, and the stop arm is engaged is troubling. Safety officials hope to address this problem by installing more cameras, both in buses and at locations that are known hotspots.
During the previous school year, automated cameras regularly captured motorists illegally passing school buses, resulting in a staggering 32,695 tickets. This translates into an average of 179 citations per day. In addition to the 500 cameras that were on county buses last year, the Montgomery County Public Schools have added more cameras in preparation for this school year. By the end of the school year, they hope to install cameras in 900 of their 1,350 buses.
According to the Director of the Traffic Division of the Montgomery County Department of Police, the number of citations that continue to be issued is extremely disappointing. When it comes to passing school buses, most drivers are ticketed for either distracted driving, not knowing the laws regarding school buses, or simply ignoring the rules.
Bus Passing Laws
In the state of Maryland, motorists must obey the following laws when the school bus stops, the flashing red lights are on, and the stop arm is engaged:
- Two-lane roadway: Traffic from both directions must stop.
- Two-lane roadway with center turning lane: Traffic from both directions must stop.
- Four-lane roadway without a median separation: Traffic from both directions must stop.
- Divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation: Only the traffic following the bus must stop.
Violations captured by the school bus cameras are reviewed by the Automated Traffic Enforcement Unit of the police department. Tickets are mailed to the individual who is the registered owner of the vehicle. If the driver receives an automated citation, the fine is $250, but if the motorist is stopped by a police officer, the fine is $570 and three points are added to the person’s license. Violating these laws endangers the lives of young school children. They always need to be respected and obeyed.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Negligent Drivers
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident involving a negligent driver, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will determine who is responsible for causing the accident and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve. We will not stop fighting for you until justice has been served. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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