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Maryland drivers passing stopped school buses

Baltimore County high on the list for infractions
Posted at 11:38 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-25 23:41:13-04

School bus drivers are fed up with drivers breaking the law and passing them while their stop arms are out and a new study proves their concerns are valid.

WMAR 2 News' Nadia Singh spoke to a bus driver who says he's afraid for the kids he transports. 

"At one point, I was siting at a stop where I saw 25 cars go past my stop sign," said Michael Fahey, a Baltimore County bus driver.

Fahey leads a local bus driver union and drives a Baltimore County bus himself, he's tired of drivers breaking the law.

"It happens every day and some locations are worse than others," Fahey said.

WMAR 2 News followed Fahey during part of his route Thursday afternoon and while we didn't see drivers breaking the law; the numbers tell a different story.

"They refuse to stop they’re in a hurry, and they’ll try to overtake the bus from any side," Fahey said.

A Maryland Department of Education study shows that in one day last spring, more than 3800 drivers went around buses while the stop arms were out; more than 675 of those were in Baltimore County.

"The people that run the stop signs should be aware that you might run over a child and your might injure or kill a child," said Fahey.

Of the state's 24 school systems in the study Baltimore County came in second on the list of violators behind only Montgomery County.

"With or without the lights on, they should slow down and be prepared to stop when you see a school bus. Within a couple hundred feet of the stop you activate the amber lights on the top," Fahey said.

That should be your first indication to slow down.

"It changes to red and the stop sign comes out."

State law says all drivers, on both sides of the road,  must stop unless there's a median. 

"If the stop sign is on it means that children might be boarding the bus it means that at any minute a child who’s late might be running towards the bus," Fahey said.

Which could mean disaster for a driver that’s not paying attention.

Fahey says more signage and cameras on bus arms may help to stop unsafe driving. 

Drivers face up to $570 and three points on their license for not stopping for a school bus.