MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — It’s against the law to pass a school bus while it’s picking up children at the bus stop, and it’s a problem that MCPS is looking to put a stop to.
Todd Watkins, director of transportation for MCPS, says their buses, “get passed between 800 and 1200 times every day. We know this from data collection.”
“Creating safe routes to school is critically important. Of our 166,000 students, about 100,000 students have a bus seat assigned to them,” said MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith.
This is the first school year where every MCPS bus is outfitted with an external camera that catches and tickets drivers who pass the bus illegally.
“Since October 2016, 140,000 tickets have been issued for passing the school bus, hundreds of citations are still issued every day for people illegally passing the red lights of our bus,” said Watkins.
With thousands of tickets and hefty fines comes hope for a safer future.
“We have only about a 6 percent repeat offender rate, that gives me hope that we’re going to run out of first-time offenders. That we’re going to see significant behavior change,” Watkins said.
If you’re caught speeding past a bus and the camera catches you, you’ll be hit with a $250 fine. Those fines are even higher if a police officer catches you and pulls you over.