Ho­gan funds bus safety

Dorchester Star - - Regional -

AN­NAPO­LIS — Gov­er­nor Larry Ho­gan an­nounced Sun­day, Aug. 28, that the state is pro­vid­ing more than $500,000 to lo­cal law en­force­ment agen­cies to help them en­force Mary­land school bus safety laws.

The grants will be used to pay for over­time for po­lice of­fi­cers who pa­trol streets when school buses are on the road, and for public ed­u­ca­tion pro­grams to in­form the driv­ing public about Mary­land’s law re­quir­ing driv­ers to stop when a school bus has stopped to pick up or drop off pas­sen­gers.

“Mary­land chil­dren are back to school, and many ride school buses ev­ery day to get to class,” said Gov­er­nor Larry Ho­gan. ”It’s our job as par­ents, grand­par­ents and gov­ern­ment lead­ers to be sure they are safe on their way to and from school.”

Mary­land law re­quires mo­torists to stop 20 feet be­hind or in front of a school bus that has its stop arm down and lights flash­ing while load­ing or dis­charg­ing stu­dents. Driv­ers who ig­nore the stop arm and il­le­gally drive past school buses could be fined and re­ceive points on their driv­ing records.

A one-day sur­vey com­pleted by the Mary­land Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion last April found that school bus driv­ers recorded a to­tal of 4,334 times that driv­ers il­le­gally drove past school buses that had stopped on the road with the stop arm down and lights flash­ing.

Fifty agen­cies from 22 ju­ris­dic­tions are re­ceiv­ing a to­tal of $541,400 in state fund­ing for school bus safety ini­tia­tives. Caro­line County is re­ceiv­ing $3,000, Queen Anne’s is get­ting $27,000 and Tal­bot County is get­ting $10,000.

Fol­low­ing the 2016 leg­isla­tive ses­sion, Gov­er­nor Ho­gan signed SB 83, which re­named the School Bus Safety En­force­ment Fund to the School Safety En­force­ment Fund.

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