Pass That School Bus And You May Get Busted

School Bus Safety

In 2011, the Maryland State Department of Education began an annual survey, asking school bus drivers to count the cars which illegally passed their bus when it was stopped to pick up or drop off students. On a single school day in that first year, bus drivers reported 7,011 violations statewide. Maryland law requires motorists traveling in the same direction as a stopped school bus with activated flashing red lights to stop. Motorists traveling in the opposite direction must stop unless there is a barrier, such as a median. A number of counties in Maryland, and across the country, have implemented programs to catch and punish drivers who ignore the law and endanger school children – either because they’re in a big hurry or they’re distracted by talking or texting on their cell phone. Cameras are being installed on the left side of school buses to record the face and license plate number of drivers who illegally pass the stopped bus. The information is sent to law enforcement for review and issuance of a citation when appropriate. Fines range from $125 to $250. Harford County is the latest to consider school bus cameras. A public hearing on the proposed legislation[…..]

Zoning In On Work Zones

Road Construction

This is the 15th year the Federal Highway Association has partnered with other safety organizations to promote safety in highway work zones. National Work Zone Awareness Week (April 7-11, 2014) is focused on improving the safety of both motorists and workers in areas where highway work is underway. And when warm weather finally arrives, road construction workers are out in force, repairing winter damage and resurfacing roads. Each year, nearly 1,000 fatalities and 43,000 serious injuries occur in the U.S. as a result of vehicle accidents in work zones. In 2013, eight people lost their lives in Maryland work zone crashes, including four highway workers. Over the last five years, there were more than 8,350 work zone related crashes in Maryland, injuring more than 4,000 people. Here are some other facts about work zone accidents: Four out of five people killed in work zones are motorists, not highway workers. Most work zone crashes are rear-end collisions, caused when drivers are inattentive to the traffic slowed ahead of them. Even though a lot of major road work is done at night, the majority of work zone crashes occur during daylight hours. In Maryland, most work zone crashes occurred in Anne Arundel,[…..]

Buckling Down On Buckling Up On Buses

School Bus On Highway

Last week a Northern California interstate was the scene of a horrible accident involving a tour bus full of high school students and a FedEx big rig that veered across the highway and crashed into the bus, killing 10 people in a fiery explosion. Motorcoaches transport 750 million passengers annually, and most do so safely. But because the vehicles often carry a large number of people, when something does go wrong, more people are at risk of death or injury. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 21 motorcoach and large bus occupants are killed and 7,934 are injured annually. In 2012, Congress passed the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act, which requires the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to develop new regulations for improved occupant protection in these large vehicles. The Act recommends mandatory safety belts, improved roof strength, anti-ejection measures, and rollover crash avoidance technology for motor coaches. So far, only one relevant regulation has been issued by NHTSA, i.e., a rule requiring lap/shoulder belts in new motorcoaches after 2016. There are at least two things worthy of notice in the final rule: (1) bus operators are not required to retrofit existing vehicles and (2)[…..]

Rockville, MD School Bus Crash Sends 5 Elementary School Students to Hospital

The Rockville Police report that a September 24 school bus collision sent five elementary school students to the hospital for treatment of their injuries. According to The Washington Post, the school bus collided with another vehicle around 8:30 a.m. on Great Falls Road in Rockville. A total of 45 students were on board the bus at the time of the accident. A police spokesman states the driver of the Jeep involved in the collision has been cited for failing to yield the right-of-way when making a left turn in front of the bus at an intersection. Both the school bus driver and the driver of the Jeep were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. Five of the young students in the school bus complained of neck and back injuries and were taken to the hospital for treatment following the car accident, but the injuries were not life threatening. Data recently released from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that there were 1,236 fatal school transportation-related accidents from 2001 to 2010. During this time period, this total amount of fatal crashes accounted for 0.34 percent of the 363,839 fatal motor vehicle accidents. The statistics also reveal that 18 school age children[…..]

Maryland Transit Authority Bus Accidents Are Too Many

Large Companies and Personal Injury Claims: Who Wins? According a report in the Baltimore Sun, on March 10, 2009, at approximately 5:15 a.m., an MTA bus collided with an SUV and then crashed into a downtown hotel injuring two passengers and the driver of the SUV. On the same day closer to the afternoon hours, another MTA bus collided with a SUV in East Baltimore injuring six people. Yet another MTA bus incident occurred on March 12, 2009, where the bus struck a parked tow truck in Essex sending the driver and two passengers to the hospital. With the slew of auto accidents involving MTA buses over the past three days, the Maryland Transit Authority has not yet released any statements as to how these personal injury victims will be taken care of. They have only commented on passengers with minor injuries. With the help of an experienced Maryland auto accident attorney and personal injury lawyer like Steven H. Heisler, your rights will be protected to ensure that large companies responsible for personal injury incidents are brought to justice. Steven H. Heisler will work hard on your behalf to navigate the legal course to justice. Mr. Heisler has been helping[…..]