Police, Education Officials Stress School Bus Safety - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Police, Education Officials Stress School Bus Safety

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SALISBURY, Md.- In an effort to keep students safe, police and education officials in Wicomico County are urging drivers to use extra caution around school buses and in school zones.

Police said violations are serious and can result in hefty fines as well as possible license suspensions. School zones have been in active for three months and drivers need to be on high alert.

Kyle Brown is a teacher's aide at Pinehurst Elementary in Salisbury. It is his job to get students on and off the bus safely.

"I'm making sure kids get here safe and and get home safe as well," Brown said. "Back to the parents, the parents trust us to get them here and back to school."

Fifth grade student Matigan Hastings said drivers need to look out for walkers too.

"It makes me kind of nervous because I use to ride a bus and if anything happened it would make me kind of uncomfortable," Hastings said.

According to a study done by the Maryland State Department of Education, a total of 3,505 violations of school bus stop arms were recorded on a single day last spring. The rate was up more than 100 from 3,392 violations recorded the previous year.

"Once schools start, we increase our patrols in the school zones," a Wicomico County sheriff's deputy told WBOC. In addition, members of law enforcement agencies in the county follow school buses, increase radar in school areas and work with bus drivers to keep students as safe as possible.

There are stiff penalties for drivers who pass a school bus when it has its "stop arm" displayed to laps and load children. Police said violators face fines of $570 and three points on their driving records.

"They are excited they want to get to bus quick, so when that stop signs opens, they are not paying attention," Brown said. "You have to make sure that you are paying attention because they are not going to."

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