Baltimore County schools urging drivers to stop when behind buses

Posted at 5:45 PM, Jan 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-05 20:30:03-05

Baltimore County Schools' Transportation Director says he wants drivers to pay attention when they're driving by buses picking up children. 

It's a challenge, and some bus drivers with Baltimore County schools also call it a chore. 

"I guess what worries me is the potential for distraction and not be focusing on that school bus and its red lights," David McCrae, the school district's director of transportation, said. 

He says drivers speeding by school are buses that are stopped picking up children is a rising problem. 

"My concern is about people stopping with plenty of time because you have to be sure that you are very aware that as soon as you see a yellow school bus, in your mind, there's a possibility those lights can start flashing," McCrae said.
After a six year decrease in the number of cars that illegally sped passed buses -- that number has picked back up in the last two years.
The state asked school bus drivers to jot down any time they saw a car passing by them during a stop. They aren't hard numbers, but it does give you an idea of just how many cars these drivers have to deal with. 
In 2016, the county counted more than 1,000 drivers violating the stops -- the most in the state during a 'One Day Stop Arm Violators' survey. 
"A penalty for passing a school bus and being stopped by a Baltimore County police officer, it could be in excess of $500," McCrae said. 
He says now he's tasked with trying to inform as many people as he can about the dangers of the driving habit.
"I think all parents can help with safety by reinforcing with their children how important it is to stay safe on the roadways and on the sidewalks, not to become to distracted in their times with their friends," McCrae said. 
...along with helping bus drivers. 
"Their primary concern is the safety of their students. That's what they're tasked with -- keeping those students safe," McCrae said. 
McCrae says the school system is exploring is exploring the idea of installing cameras on buses to record drivers breaking the law, but there's no timetable on when that could possibly happen.