Sheriff's Office Receives Grant Targeting School Bus Safety
(Bel Air, MD - January 5, 2010) The Harford County Sheriff's Office has received a grant provided by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention**, to target motorists who fail to stop for school buses that have their red lights flashing.
Over 34,000 Harford County students ride a bus to and from school each day. This grant enhances the Sheriff's Office enforcement efforts of the state law requiring motorists to stop their vehicles when they approach a school bus with its red lights flashing. "Our goal is to keep our children safe," said Sgt. Joseph VanSeeters, Supervisor of the Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit. "This grant will provide the funding for a deputy to follow school buses where we have identified a chronic problem of violations." Maryland law requires the driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking a school vehicle to stop at least 20 feet from the rear or front of the school vehicle when its alternating flashing red lights are operating. The driver of any vehicle meeting or overtaking the school vehicle may not proceed until the school vehicle resumes motion or the alternating flashing red lights are deactivated. A violation of this article may result in a fine of $570.00. For additional information, please contact the Harford County Sheriff's Office Traffic unit at 410-692-7872.
The Sheriff's Office offers the following tips for motorists driving during school hours:
- Drive slow and watch for children traveling to and from school when driving in neighborhoods with marked school zones
- Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood
- Learn and understand the flashing light system school bus driver's use to alert motorists for stopping.