Back to School: Some important safety tips

School’s starting, can you believe it? Here are some great reminders from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration designed to help everyone stay safe.


  • When a school bus stops, the flashing red lights go on and the stop sign flaps come out, drivers in BOTH directions are required to stop. This is the most dangerous time with children getting on or off the bus.
  • It is against the law to pass a stopped school bus with its flashing red lights activated and stop arm extended.
  • Drivers must be patient. There is simply no room for aggressive driving around a school bus.


  • Realize that your commute takes longer when school is in session – allow more time.
  • Understand that traffic fines can be doubled in school zones – worst case scenario a ticket could cost you nearly $1,000.
  • Stay alert. Avoid distractions – especially mobile devices. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks.
  • And remember, Maryland law requires motorists to stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks.


  • Children and their parents need to review the rules of the road too.
  • If traveling by school bus: have a safe place to wait for the bus, away from traffic and the street, and stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.
  • When walking: only cross the street at a marked crosswalk, preferably one that has a crossing guard. Before crossing a street, look left, then right, then left again. Stay alert. Follow signals.
  • When riding a bike, don’t ever ride your bike across an intersection. Get off and walk it across after looking both ways for oncoming traffic or waiting for a crossing signal. Children should always wear a helmet when cycling.
  • Stay visible – wear light and/or reflective clothing, especially when walking in the dark

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