Howard police to focus on school traffic safety as academic year begins

With the start of school around the corner, Howard County police are once again gearing up to ensure drivers slow down around school zones. 

Police will be rotating two portable speed camera units among 13 school zones in Howard this year, including on Banbury Drive in Hanover, near the site of the new Thomas Viaduct Middle School, which opens to students on Monday. They'll also be sending out two vans equipped with speed cameras. A list of locations scheduled for speed enforcement is posted at 

"We hope that a police presence around the schools will remind drivers to slow down," Police Chief Gary Gardner said. "We are asking all motorists to help our children arrive safely to school." 

As part of the back-to-school safety program, called Helping Arriving Students Through Enforcement, or H.A.S.T.E., police will also be checking to see that children are wearing seatbelts and that small children are riding in car seats. 

And officers in unmarked cars will be on the roads to make sure that drivers stop for school buses with flashing red lights. The fine for passing a stopped school bus with its lights flashing is $570.

At school, students will be participating in their own safety training through mandatory traffic safety seminars for any students applying for parking permits, police said. 

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