24 August 2023- Maryland State Police and the Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) remind motorists to stop for school buses as students return to class next week.
Drivers must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus with the stop arm extended and the red lights flashing. Do not pass the bus from any direction until the stop signals are off and the bus is moving again. Motorists in Maryland are not required to stop if the road is separated by a physical median – such as dirt, grass, or a barrier.
Millions of children ride school buses and are most at risk when they get on or off the bus. There were 1,009 fatal school-transportation-related crashes from 2011 to 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The MCSS encourages Marylanders and visitors to:
- Pay attention when driving, especially in school zones and during times of day when school buses are typically on routes.
- Stop when a bus stops. It is illegal to pass a school bus with its red lights flashing.
- Prepare to stop when the school bus is flashing its yellow lights and be cautious of students beginning to move toward the bus during these times.
- Students of all ages are unpredictable. Therefore, prepare for the unexpected and maintain a safe distance from school buses at all times.
Violators who are stopped by a police officer face a fine of up to $570 and three points on their driver’s licenses. Infractions carry a monetary penalty for each violation. For additional school bus safety tips, visit the Maryland Highway Safety Office.