More than 800 students are killed each year going to and from school, according to the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. In addition to citations and fines, illegally passing a school bus could result in a crash with students walking to or from the bus. If a student is injured in a Maryland truck accident, a driver may be held responsible through a Maryland personal injury claim.
Under section 21-706 of the Maryland Code, if a school vehicle is flashing red lights, a driver must stop for a school vehicle at least 20 feet from the rear of the front of the vehicle. A driver cannot proceed until the school vehicle continues moving or deactivates the flashing red lights. According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, the greatest danger to students taking the bus is when approaching or leaving the bus. The stop sign on a Maryland school bus will show yellow flashing lights to indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children. Motorists are supposed to slow down and prepare to stop. The stop sign will show red flashing lights and the extended stop arm to indicate that the bus has stopped and that children are getting on or off. Motorists are required to stop until the flashing lights stop, regardless of which direction they are coming from and irrespective of how many travel lanes there are.
In the first 40 days of the 2017-2018 school year, 7,919 drivers in Montgomery County, Maryland, were recorded on school bus cameras illegally passing school buses. The Montgomery County Public School District has stated that it reports nearly 800 to 1,200 illegal passes in a single day. A school bus camera citation comes with a $250 fine. If a police officer issues a citation for the same offense, the fine is $500.
Woman Convicted for Deaths of 3 Students After Passing Stopped School Bus
A woman was recently convicted for the deaths of 3 siblings after she illegally passed a stopped school bus, according to one news source. The three children were crossing a two-lane highway to board the bus at about 7:15 a.m. The woman was driving her pickup truck and failed to stop for the stopped school bus even though the stop sign was extended. Two of the children were six, and one was nine. Another child who was 11 years old was also hit, and was critically injured in the crash.
A jury convicted the woman of three felony counts of reckless homicide, one felony count of criminal recklessness, and one misdemeanor count of passing a school bus causing injury when the stop arm is extended. The 24-year-old woman has not yet been sentenced, but faces up to 21 years.
Contact a Maryland Truck Accident Lawyer
If your loved one was injured going to or from a school bus, or in another accident, contact the professionals at Lebowitz & Mzhen. We have extensive experience in the field of auto and trucking accidents. We highly recommend that if you or someone you love has been the victim of a Maryland trucking accident, that you get in touch with a personal injury attorney to better understand your legal rights. Call us at 800-654-1949 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.