|Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – Steve Fermier and WBAL TV|
|Thousands of Maryland drivers are putting school children at risk every day, according to a new study.
A one-day investigation by the Maryland State Department of Education found that more than 7,000 drivers ignored the stop arms and lights of school buses.
Nearly 4,000 of the violators were oncoming drivers who ignored the stop arm, according to the study. Other drivers were observed passing to the left and to the right of a stopped bus.
Baltimore County, Montgomery County and Anne Arundel County ranked as the locations with the worst offenders, according to the study.
“It is simply illegal to pass a bus with its stop arm extended and its lights flashing,” said State Superintendent Nancy Grasmick. “Our No. 1 priority as educators — and drivers — should be the safety of our Maryland school children.”
A few smaller school systems found no violators on the day of the survey: Allegany, Caroline, and Queen Anne’s.
More than 4,700 school bus drivers took part in the survey, representing 65 percent of the school bus drivers in Maryland.