November 23, 2017
Politics & Opinion
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Safety Is Everybody’s Job

Senator Bryan Simonaire
Senator Bryan Simonaire's picture
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November 10, 2017

Now that school is in full swing, here’s a good reminder: Be careful because children are on almost every street corner.

There are too many unnecessary injuries to our children because some drivers do not take the extra time to be careful. I understand the demands of a full-time job and the need to get to work on time, but we must slow down, especially in our communities as children are going to school.

There are two main areas of safety: first, knowing that children are at local school bus stops in our neighborhoods, and second, realizing and obeying the laws associated with school bus stops.

Almost every neighborhood has children standing at school bus stops waiting to be picked up. This entails having many children crossing neighborhood streets to get to their designated stop. There are three different school pickup times between elementary, middle and high schools. Therefore, it is highly likely when you are heading out to work, you will see students on the side of your roads.

So, please take a moment to recognize where your neighborhood school bus stops are and go a little slower in that area. It will take only a few moments of your time but will allow for a much safer environment for our children.

Nothing gets my blood boiling more than when I see a car speeding through a small neighborhood filled with small children. I am sure you have seen it too. What in the world are these drivers thinking? Slow down!

Also, we should be more aware of the laws and associated actions we should take when a school bus puts on its flashing lights.

When a school bus has its red flashing lights on, a vehicle must stop and may not pass in either direction. There have been reports in our neighborhoods of cars passing school buses when traveling in the opposite direction of the bus. Both sides must stop until the bus turns off the flashing red lights. Children enter and depart the bus from both sides of the road depending on the particular bus stop location.

According to the latest data I saw, a penalty of $125 to $570 is given for passing a stopped bus with its flashing lights on. Studies have shown that too many students are killed each year from people disobeying these simple and commonsense laws.

For detailed information on the rules of the road as it applies to school buses, contact my office at 410-841-3658.

We all want to see our children arrive safely at home each day, so please do your part to make sure they do. Take an extra minute in your commute to watch out for our children. They will appreciate it and so will you.


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