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Ensuring Safe School Bus Practices
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By Fallston Volunteer Fire and Ambulance Company
August 27, 2023

Looking ahead to the commencement of the 2023-2024 school year in Harford County, we want to stress the paramount importance of school bus safety for all drivers. One frequently asked question pertains to the proper protocol for stopping when a school bus is loading or unloading students in various road scenarios. Here's some valuable guidance from the Maryland Fire Chiefs Association:

"In accordance with Maryland Law, it is mandatory for all vehicles to come to a halt when they encounter a school bus displaying flashing red lights and an extended stop sign. Refer to Annotated Code of Maryland §21-706 for the specific details:

(a) If a school bus has come to a stop on a roadway, activating the alternately flashing red lights as outlined in § 22-228 of this article, any other vehicle that meets or overtakes the school bus should stop a minimum of 20 feet behind it if approaching from the rear, or a minimum of 20 feet in front if approaching from the front.

(b) If a school bus has come to a stop on a roadway and is utilizing the alternately flashing red lights specified in § 22-228 of this article, drivers of other vehicles may not proceed until the school bus resumes its motion or the alternately flashing red lights are switched off.

(c) This regulation does not apply to drivers on divided highways if the school bus is on a separate roadway."

For further clarification, please refer to the accompanying diagram. A divided highway is described as having a median consisting of dirt, grass, or a barrier.

Let's prioritize the safety of our community's students!


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