RESPECT THE BIG YELLOW AND OBEY THE RED
To All Community Members:
Queen Anne’s County Public Schools will open on Monday, August 29, 2016, for the 2016-17 school year. Approximately 7,600 students will be riding the humble yellow school bus. The Board of Education Transportation Department has routed 88 buses which will travel over 2,066,666 miles providing school transportation this year. Our number one priority is always student safety. We cannot provide this without community support. We need all motorists to RESPECT THE BIG YELLOW AND OBEY THE RED
Motorists are reminded of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Law which requires the driver of a vehicle to come to a complete stop for a school bus loading or unloading pupils with the red warning lights activated. When the red lights are engaged and the stop arm is employed, it means students are getting on or off school buses AND MOTORISTS ARE REQUIRED TO STOP. When students are moving near the bus, it is paramount for student safety that all motorists RESPECT THE BIG YELLOW AND OBEY THE RED.
Motorists are also advised that buses operate with an 8 light warning system. School bus drivers flash their yellow amber lights at least 100 feet in advance as they approach a stop and do not activate the red lights until they are fully stopped. The message is clear---“Prepare to stop and do not run the warning lights.”
Here are some life-saving safety tips for all motorists:
Tip #1: When a school bus is preparing to stop, the driver first activates the yellow flashing lights. Slow down and be prepared to stop.
Tip#2: Once stopped remain stopped until the bus deactivates its red warning signal.
Tip#3: Be vigilant and prepared to react to unexpected movements of the students waiting for or exiting the bus.
Tip#4: Pay close attention for children who may be crossing the street or walking or waiting close to the street.
Tip#5: PLEASE pay close attention in school zones and near bus stops.
Some school bus stops, particularly on state roadways, are placed using an “off road loading zone” procedure. In such cases, buses pull completely off the traveled portion of the roadway to pick up students who do not cross the road. Buses activate only the right turn signal and motorists may pass the bus on the left during this time.
The only time a motorist does not have to stop for the red flashing warning lights is on a solid divided highway. If the road is divided by a media strip, a concrete wall, or any other physical barrier, motorists coming in the opposite direction do not have to stop. Otherwise, motorists need to RESPECT THE BIG YELLOW AND OBEY THE RED.
To ensure that our school bus passing law never has a child’s name attached to it, it will take a community effort of parents teaching their children safe bus stop behavior, bus drivers exercising proper bus stop procedures, and all motorists following the law.
The inconvenience of an extra few seconds spent waiting for a stopped school bus is insignificant compared to the loss of a child’s life, so remember…RESPECT THE BIG YELLOW AND OBEY THE RED. We look forward to a safe school year.
Thank you for following Maryland’s school bus passing laws!