School safety reminders for drivers
Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverly Swaim-Staley says each year an average of 300 Maryland pupils are injured either arriving at or leaving school. With most of the area's students back in school, it's a good time for a reminder on how sticking to the rules of the road can increase safety for schoolchildren and others. Here are some tips for drivers and pedestrians. More info on school bus safety and safety rules for bikers and pedestrians can be found here.
Reminders for drivers:
-Maryland law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks
-Slow down and watch for children walking in the street, especially in neighborhoods without sidewalks
-Traffic fines can be doubled in school zones, up to $1,000
-It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing or it has the arm extended. Motorists must waiting for the lights to stop flashing before proceeding.
-Avoid aggressive driving and follow posted speed limits, which may be lowered in school zones
Reminders for students - what children need to know:
-Have a safe place to wait for the bus, away from traffic and the street
-Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter
-Cross the street only at marked crosswalks or where a crossing guard are available
-Don't ride your bike through an intersection. Get off and walk the bike, after checking for traffic.
-Be aware of street traffic. Drivers are supposed to follow certain rules of the road but not all do so.