As students begin to flock to their respective classes, it is important to remind Rockville Maryland drivers the laws about school buses in Montgomery County and Maryland. Below, we will be going over some of the different school bus laws in Rockville.
School Bus Laws Rockville:
1. Activated Red Flashing Lights
When you see a school bus with their red flashing lights activated, you must stop. Drivers that are approaching from behind must stop and drivers approaching from the opposite direction on the other side of the street must also stop if there is no median.
The fine for illegally passing a stopped school bus with activated flashing red lights is $250 with the ticket being sent through the mail. There are no points for this infraction. However, if a police officer notices this infraction taking place, they do have the right to pull over the driver and hand them a moving violation that can come with a maximum $570 fine and a possibility of 3 points assessed to a driver’s record.
What to Do When Approaching a School Bus:
The most important thing to understand and do when you approach a stopped school bus is to stop yourself. You want to stop with enough distance between yourself and the school bus. This is the most dangerous time to pass a school bus because you have kids getting off the bus and potentially crossing the street. No matter what direction you are going in, you should be stopping unless there is a physical median/barrier and the school bus is on the other side of it.
2. Never Pass a Stopped School Bus
This is important to emphasize. You may never pass a stopped school bus. This is particularly the case on the right side as this is the side that children exit. Not only is it illegal, but it is also extremely unsafe.
3. Two Lane Road
If you are on a two-lane road when a school bus stops to let off passengers, all traffic in either direction must come to a complete stop.
4. Two Lane Road with Center Lane
If you are on a two-lane road with a center lane, you will want to stop for passengers regardless of which direction you are traveling.
5. Divided Highway of Four Lanes or More
When a school bus stops to release passengers in this situation, only the traffic that is directly behind the bus must stop.
School Bus Safety Enforcement Program with Cameras:
This program began in 2014. This program has cameras deployed on the outside of school buses. These cameras are meant to record vehicles that illegally pass school buses that have their red flashing lights activated. The police department fully reviews any violations that are captured by these cameras, and proper citations are mailed directly to the registered owner of the vehicle that was involved.
There is a lot to be aware of when it comes to school bus laws in Rockville. The most important thing to remember is these laws are set in place to keep school children as safe as possible.