Here’s something everyone should know before the Montgomery County Public School system begins its fall session on August 29: Maryland law requires drivers to stop for a school bus with its stop-arm signal and flashing lights activated. That applies to motorists traveling in the same direction as the bus, as well drivers approaching the bus from the opposite direction UNLESS there is a physical barrier, such as a median. When traveling in the opposite direction, it may help to remember that Paint (the line markings painted on the roadway) Doesn’t Protect (children who may be about to cross the street).
Beginning with this school year, the school bus camera enforcement program, which began on January 2, 2014, is expanding from 25 cameras to up to 100 cameras expected to be installed on buses by the first day of school. Within 18 months the number of buses with cameras is expected to grow to 500.
It is believed that when a driver passes a stopped school bus with red flashing lights, it is because he/she is uninformed about the law, is impatient, or is distracted. County government, law enforcement and school officials are dedicated to continuing public education outreach. However, with the greatly expanded number of enforcement cameras on County roadways, drivers who violate the law can expect to receive a citation with a $125 fine. The goal is voluntary compliance to keep our students safe!