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Survey Finds More Drivers Ignoring School Bus Stop Signs

More than 85,000 drivers passed school buses in one day, survey found.

Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin championed cameras on school buses. Credit Damian Garde
Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin championed cameras on school buses. Credit Damian Garde

By Whitney Teal

The number of drivers ignoring school bus stop signs that allow kids to cross the streets safely is growing.

The National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services’ annual survey found 85,279 drivers illegally pass school buses. Last year, that number was 88,025, and in 2011 it was 76,685, according to a statement by American Traffic Solutions, a company that sells school bus cameras.

Since 1970, 467 students have been killed trying to get on or off school buses, American Traffic Solutions reported.

More jurisdictions are turning to cameras to identify and ticket offending drivers, according to the report.

Montgomery County passed a law in March 2012 that fines drivers up to $250 for passing school buses stopped with their stop sign out and lights flashing. In 2011, the Maryland General Assembly voted to allow school systems to install cameras on buses to catch sign-runners and capped fines for violators at $250.

Kim Cooke August 20, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Please MC officials. We ask you to do something about two trends in traffic violations that are sure to have deadly consequences: the issue here and crossing double yellow lines into oncoming traffic in order to go around a stopped MTA bus or a parked car. All you have to do is sit on the corner of Lockwood and New Hampshire. At least ten times I have had a car, or multiple cars in a row, cross over into my lane and cause me to stop in order to avoid a head-on collision! You read this right - they have taken my right of way and made me stop in my lane because they are using it. It happens on 29 all the time. I had a woman in a minivan in Kemp Mill cross the double yellow into my lane and come straight at me at 40 mph and never hesitate or slow. What do we do with these irresponsible, negligent violators who risk killing children and innocent drivers because they simply cannot stop for a few moments behind a stopped vehicle? Fines? They will pay them and continue their reprehensible behavior. How about suspension of license and a bit of jail time? A simple change of law, MC officials, will save many lives. Please consider this.

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