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Respect the bus or get BUS-ted: Police increase citations for passing stopped school buses

In all of 2021, the Montgomery County Police wrote up 36,717 citations. As of Sept. 21, 2022, the department has issued 36,138 citations.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Montgomery County police are warning drivers to wait for stopped school buses or they will get slapped with a steep fine. As a general rule of thumb, if drivers see flashing red lights, they need to stop at least 20 feet away from a bus. 

With three months left in the year, the department said in a tweet that the number of citations in 2022 is almost surpassing the total number of citations issued in 2021. In 2020, Montgomery County police issued 17,316 school bus citations. That increased drastically in 2021, as the department wrote up 36,717 citations. As of Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2022, Montgomery County police have issued 36,138 citations. 

Here's a quick reminder of Maryland's law regarding passing a school bus that is stopped.

  • On Two Lane and Multi-Lane Roadways: Motorists traveling in both directions - regardless of how many travel lanes or the presence of a turn lane - Must Stop and Remain Stopped until the flashing red bus lights are turned off.
  • On Multi-Lane Roadway Divided By a Media Strip: Drivers following the bus must stop. Drivers do not need to stop if they are traveling in the opposite direction of the bus on a multi-lane highway that is divided by a physical barrier such as grassy or paved median strip. Cars traveling in the opposite direction of the bus on a physically-divided highway may proceed with caution.
Credit: WUSA9

Drivers will have to pay a fine of $250 if caught on camera illegally passing a stopped school bus in Maryland. If caught by a police officer, then drivers will be a given a citation totaling $570 with three points on the driver's license.


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