State education department releases 'frightening' bus safety results

The Maryland State Department of Education released Wednesday the results of a state-wide survey of  showing that motorists continue to bypass stop arms on school buses--the signs that swing out and flash when a bus stops to board students--at a "frightening rate."

A survey of roughly 63 percent of Maryland bus drivers noted 4,657 violations in April, according to a release from the department, which sponsored the survey at the recommendation of several members of the Maryland General Assembly. 

In 2011, the number of violations reported was 7,000, recorded by about 65 percent of the state's bus drivers.

The violations were recorded in one day, state officials said.

“Schools are opening, and it is important to understand that it is illegal to pass a bus with its stop arm extended and its lights flashing,” said Lillian M. Lowery, state superintendent, in a statement.  “There are no excuses for this violation.  We need to keep Maryland school children safe.”

MSDE said that Montgomery County and Baltimore County noted among the most violations, with 1,494 and 1,143 respectively. Kent County was the only district without a violation.


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