WESTOVER, Md.- A pilot program for school bus cameras is under way in Somerset County.
The Somerset County Sheriff's Office is working with the Somerset County Public School System to protect children from drivers who pass by buses with flashing red lights. William Handy,a bus contractor for the school system, said it happens all the time along Route 413, also known as Crisfield Highway.
"It's very scary, especially when you look at vehicles coming toward you and it doesn't seem like they're going to slow down at all," Handy said.
He recalled a time when a driver flew by his bus with the stop sign out, the red lights flashing and the school bus door open. Another close call involved a child's grandmother who almost got hit at a bus stop. Handy said flybys are more common than people think.
"In the years past, out of a 180-day school term, I've had about 15 in a given school year," Handy said.
That number could go up now that Handy's bus has the county's first school bus camera installed on it. County school officials said the camera is a part of a two-month pilot program.Once the trial is over, a few more will be purchased with state funding. The camera, made by Zen-tinel, cost $2,400.
The citation is $125, but fines could cost as much as $570 along with a 3-point penalty on a violator's license.