(Bel Air, MD – September 24, 2008) The Harford County Sheriff’s Office has received a grant targeting motorists who fail to stop for school buses that have their red lights flashing.
The grant, SBSE-2009-1106, is provided by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Over 34,000 Harford County students ride a bus to and from school each day. This grant enhances the Sheriff’s Office enforcement efforts of the state law requiring motorists to stoptheir vehicles when they approach a school bus with its red lights flashing.
“Our goal is to keep our children safe,” said Sgt. Joseph VanSeeters, Supervisor of the Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit.
“This grant will provide the funding for a deputy to follow schoolbuses where we have identified a chronic problem of violations.”
Maryland law requires the driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking a school vehicle to stop at least 20 feet from the rear or front of the school vehicle when its alternating flashing red lights are operating.
The driver of any vehicle meeting or overtaking the school vehicle may not proceed until the school vehicle resumes motion or the alternating flashing red lights are deactivated. A violation of this article may result in a fine of $570.00.
The Sheriff’s Office offers the following tips for motorists driving during school hours:
•Drive slow and watch for children traveling to and from school when driving in neighborhoods with marked school zones;
•Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in theneighborhood; and,
•Learn and understand the flashing light system school bus drivers use to alert motorists for stopping. For additional information, please contact the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Traffic unit at 410-692-7872.