Failing to Stop for School Buses
Transporting the students of
One of the greatest hazards for buses comes from motorists who do not observe the school bus lighting system. In
This system was adopted because it more closely follows other traffic regulations. The alternately flashing yellow lights mean CAUTION to other motorists because the bus is preparing to stop. The flashing red lights and stop arm mean STOP. Motorists are required to stop at least 20 feet from a stopped school bus that is displaying flashing red lights and stop arm.
One of the most frequent complaints of school bus drivers is that other motorists do not obey the school bus stop law. “We have several of these reports each month from our bus drivers. Each time a motorist violates the school bus stop law, he or she creates a real hazard for the students who are boarding or leaving the bus. We haven’t had anyone get hurt yet, but there have been some close calls. To date we have had 13 reported incidents of motorists not adhering to the school bus stop law for the current school year.”
During the 2000 legislative session, House Bill 104- Vehicle Laws-Drivers Failing to Stop for School Buses-Enforcement Initiative was passed by the Maryland General Assembly. This bill established a five year program, which became effective on
Kent County Public Schools has been working closely with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office through the grant from the General Assembly for
School bus drivers report incidents of violation through the radios that are located on all buses to the Board of Education and the information is than given to Kent Central. In some cases the violator may be immediately identified and found through the direct link of communication which we have with the police and our radio system. The bus drivers always follow up with a written report. We monitor the number of citations and the location in order to evaluate possible additional monitoring and enforcement for a specific area.
The fine for not stopping for a school bus activated overhead and red light is $570.00 and 3 points. The fine for stopping for a school bus activated overhead red lights and then proceeding through (failing to remain stopped) is $570.00 and 2 points. The fine has been doubled through legislation within the past 2 years.