SHA Urges Drivers to "Study Up" on the Rules of the Road Before - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

SHA Urges Drivers to "Study Up" on the Rules of the Road Before School Begins

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

SALISBURY, Md. – The Maryland State Highway Administration reminds parents to refresh themselves and their children on the rules of the road ahead of the first day of school.

According to SHA, more than 500 children are involved in motor vehicle crashes on average each year. SHA urges drivers to follow the rules of the road and to stay attentive in order to prevent tragedies.

“Everyone has a role in back to school safety,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “As school starts, drivers should expect increased travel time for themselves and school buses and pedestrians, especially young children, on the road. Pedestrians need to be on the lookout for drivers and remember to look both ways before crossing.”

SHA reminds drivers of the “E's” of safety – engineering, education and enforcement. The administration's engineers evaluated school zones along state routes throughout the summer, making adjustments and adding traffic devices like crosswalks, signage and flashing lights where needed. Message signs have also been posted reminding motorists to look out for school buses and pedestrians. Come fall, the third “E,” enforcement, will also be apparent near schools.

“The biggest thing for us is school bus patrols. We monitor school bus stops to make sure vehicles are in compliance,” said Sgt. Mark Conte of Maryland State Police Salisbury barrack.

SHA wants to remind students walking or biking to school to always use marked crosswalks and intersections to cross the road, to look left, right and then left again before crossing the street, and to make sure to wear bright, reflective clothing to make themselves more visible to drivers. The administration also says if riding a bike, make sure to get off the bike at intersections and walk it across.

Maryland law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, which exist at all intersections, even if they are not marked. SHA wants to remind drivers that it is against the law to pass a stopped school bus while its lights are flashing and its stop arm is extended. Drivers must also stop on both sides of the roadway for school buses that are stopped on undivided roadways with no physical barrier or median. Maryland State Police in Salisbury said they saw 61 school bus violations throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

SHA said drivers should also remember:
·    Be aware of lowered speed limits in school zones
·    Know that traffic fines can be doubled in school zones; some counties use automated enforcement / speed cameras
·    Be on the lookout for all pedestrians, especially children, who are often unpredictable
·    Make sure you and all your passengers are buckled up.  In the event of an collision, your seat belt will be your biggest defense

“The biggest violation we see is when the roadway is two-lane each way with no grass median. People think they don't have to stop. Route 50 has the grass median, but on roads like Beaglin Park and College Avenue in Salisbury, drivers have to stop on both sides and many don't realize that,” said Sgt. Conte.

For a full list of start dates for Maryland Public schools on Delmarva, click here: http://www.wboc.com/story/26286105/school-opening-dates-for-maryland-public-schools



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