A Baltimore mother is outraged after witnessing cars speed past a school bus stopped to pick up children on a busy street.
Lindsey Gutierrez sent ABC2 a video clip that documents what she said happens regularly at a bus stop in front of her home in the 6600 block of Loch Raven Boulevard.
Gutierrez, whose children attend Dumbarton Middle School and Stoneleigh Elementary, said each morning cars whiz by on the road, even though the bus driver has extended the stop sign. The bus driver beeps her horn and yells at drivers, and Gutierrez said she’s even tried contacting police, but said nothing has been done.
"I'm just afraid that one of the children, they're going to get hit or hurt and I don't want it to come to that point," Gutierrez said.
The video Gutierrez shared shows a child boarding the stopped bus as cars continue to pass. ABC2 News showed the video to Baltimore County Police.
“I can't tell from just looking at it whether or not the flashing red lights were on but if they were on, this is very troubling. This is definitely a safety hazard to our children,” Baltimore County Police Corporal John Wachter said.
In Maryland, drivers must come to a complete stop on both sides of the street, and aren't allowed to pass the bus until its lights have stopped flashing. The only exception is when there's a median or physical barrier separating both sides of the road. In that case, traffic on the opposite side of the road is not required to stop.
Violators could be fined $570 and issued a 3-point penalty on their record. Drivers who stop but then proceed while the lights are flashing will receive a $570 fine and 2-point penalty. Drivers who cause an accident after passing a stopped school bus can face additional penalties.
Montgomery and Frederick counties have installed cameras on buses to catch drivers. Wachter said at this point in time, Baltimore County is not pursuing that option.
“Well, obviously it's something that's expensive and takes awhile to implement. You have to go through a procurement process to decide what cameras you're going to get, where you're going to put them, who's going to handle citations, it's just an awful lot that goes into a technological advancement like that,” Wachter said.
But Gutierrez said it could be worth the investment if it makes a difference.
“Even if it costs money, it's better than costing somebody's life, definitely,” she said.
According to Baltimore County Public Schools, there were 1,002 incidents of cars passing stopped school buses in the last school year.
Gutierrez posted another video showing speeding cars Wednesday afternoon.