Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

August 25, 2013

On high alert

Police aim to keep traveling students safe

Schools will be back in session today in Allegany and Garrett counties, and police say they will be especially vigilant in keeping students safe.

There will be an increased police presence during peak student transport times, and officers will be cracking down on aggressive drivers and motorists who pass stopped school buses.

Officers will be on school property and patrolling areas where students will be walking to school and waiting for transportation.

Motorists, parents and students themselves should be aware of traffic situations and hazards. When boarding or getting off school buses, do so quickly and with caution after traffic has stopped, looking both ways.

Maryland motor vehicle law requires the driver of a vehicle to come to a complete stop for a school bus loading or unloading students with the red warning lights activated. When the red lights are engaged and the stop arm is employed, it means that students are getting on or off of school buses and motorists are to stop.

The only time that a motorist does not have to stop for the red flashing warning lights of a school bus is on a solid divided highway. If the road is divided by a median strip, a concrete wall, or any other physical barrier, motorists traveling in the opposite direction are not required to stop.  

The fine for passing a stopped school bus while flashing its red lights is $570 and 3 points on the driver’s record.

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