Motorists Reminded Of School Bus Safety Laws As Students Head Back To Class
With some students already heading back to school, and the majority returning after Labor Day, Maryland State Police are stressing bus safety for motorists. State troopers across Maryland will be joining their local law enforcement partners in special school bus enforcement patrols during the start of this school year.
Extra patrols will be deployed on school bus routes and troopers will be specifically targeting motorists driving unsafely around school buses or ignoring the red flashing lights when a bus is stopped. Those could breaking the law by police can cost a driver a $570 fine and a three-point penalty on their driver’s license.
According to the National Research Council. more than 800 students are killed going to and from school each year. This includes 131 fatalities to pedestrians, 46 to bicyclists, five who ride school buses and 15 pedestrians at school bus stops.
The National Safety Council has compiled the following tips for sharing the road safely with school buses:
- When driving behind a school bus, make sure to allow a greater following distance than if you were driving behind another car. This will give you more time to stop once the yellow lights begin to flash.
- Never pass a bus from behind or from either direction if you’re on an undivided road if it is stopped to load or unload children. It is illegal in all 50 states to pass a school bus that is stopped to load or unload children.
- If yellow or red lights are flashing and the stop sign is extended, you must stop.
- Make sure you’ve stopped far back enough to allow children to safely enter and exit the bus. The area 10 feet surrounding a school bus is the most dangerous for children.
- Pay attention; children can be unpredictable and tend to ignore hazards.
Here’s to a safe and fun 2017-2018 school season!