Harford Co. father wants drivers to slow down and stop for school buses

(WMAR) - A Harford County father is sharing a video he recorded of a driver breaking the law and not stopping for a school bus.

Matt Clapham told WMAR that he kept seeing drivers not stopping for buses and decided to do something about it.

"I thought posting it would just draw attention," said Clapham.

He got that attention, from the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

"I'm just trying to look out for the kids."

Clapham caught a driver brazenly driving through a school bus's extended stop sign.

"People just forget or they don't see the school bus and it goes on all over the place," he said.

Parents like Kim Jones and Michelle Hamann have small children and say this kind of recklessness scares them

"You put your kids on the school bus and that's the safest part of their day because they're somewhere safe being on a bus, being in school and when they come flying,  it puts a fear in you," said Jones.

Hamman commented, "It's not just children getting on the bus, it could be their siblings, bringing their siblings to the bus stop or just kids in the community."

Police are always on the lookout for bus safety issues but can't be everywhere and expect drivers to use common sense.

"This is no different than a regular red light or stop sign that you see on any other roadway," said Maryland State Police Spokesperson, Elena Russo.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 2007-2016 there were 281 school-aged children killed in school bus related accidents.

"Now that school's back in session, when you see that red and yellow flashing light or even those arms that extend from the bus and the bus is stopped you as the driver have to stop," Russo said.

For now, Clapham hopes his video will curb this kind of driving.

"I would hate to see a young child be hurt by someone's carelessness. The more interest I can generate, the better."

Police said if a school bus is in the roadway with blinking red lights and its stop sign arms out, all drivers, on both sides of the roadway are required to stop.  Drivers caught not stopping are subject to a nearly $600 dollar fine and three points on their license. 

 

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