What Are the Laws Surrounding Overtaking and Passing School Vehicles in Maryland?
The safety of children is a top priority for parents, educators, and lawmakers alike. In Maryland, there are specific laws in place to protect students as they travel to and from school and school-related activities. These laws regulate how drivers must act when approaching or passing school vehicles. According to Maryland Transportation statute §21-706, you must stop 20 feet away from any school vehicle if it is operating alternately flashing red lights, whether you are approaching from the rear or front.
Failing to abide by Maryland’s overtaking and passing laws may result in fines and points on your driving record, depending on whether the citation was issued by a police officer or a camera-generated citation. At The Law Office of Hillel Traub, we are well-versed in Maryland traffic laws and have a proven record of success in fighting to eliminate or reduce moving violation penalties.
Maryland School Vehicle Overtaking and Passing Laws
In the 2017-2018 school year, 500 buses that were armed with cameras captured over 7,919 drivers illegally passing school buses, which means 198 bus camera citations were recorded per day.
To ensure you avoid traffic citations for overtaking and passing school vehicles in Maryland, you should be aware of the following laws:
- On two-way and multi-lane roadways: Motorists traveling in both directions must stop and remain stopped until the school bus’s lights are turned off
- On two-way roads divided by a median strip: Drivers following the bus must stop. Drivers traveling in the opposite direction do not need to stop if the highway is divided by a physical barrier. An example may be a grassy or paved median strip.
- Be prepared to stop and remain stopped: You must stop and remain stopped at least 20 feet away from the school bus or school vehicle, whether you are approaching or following.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are an average of 113 school-transportation-related fatalities annually. To ensure student safety, it is vital to adhere to Maryland’s overtaking and passing laws.
If you were issued an overtaking and passing citation, speak with an experienced Maryland traffic violations lawyer to understand your best legal options to avoid potential fines and penalties on your driving record.
Penalties for Overtaking and Passing Violations
Failing to follow Maryland’s overtaking and passing laws can result in numerous penalties, including the following:
- Camera-generated citation: If you are caught illegally passing or overtaking a bus or school vehicle on camera, you may incur a $250 fine with no points on your driving record.
- Police officer citation: If you were issued a citation by a police officer for illegally passing or overtaking a bus, you may incur a $570 fine with three points added to your driving record.
- License suspension: Depending on the number of points on your driving record, you may be facing a license suspension. In Maryland, if you accumulate eight points, your license will be suspended by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
If you’re at risk of losing your driving privileges or cannot afford to accumulate points on your driving record, it is imperative to speak with an experienced traffic violations lawyer. At The Law Office of Hillel Traub, we will fight to protect your rights and guide you through the legal process.
Speak With the Experienced Traffic Violations Lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub
When approaching or passing a school vehicle with flashing lights, you must stop at least 20 feet away to ensure the safety of students embarking or disembarking the vehicle. If you have been issued a citation for illegally passing or overtaking a school bus, speak with the experienced traffic violations lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub.
Attorney Hillel Traub is a former lawyer for the MVA and understands what it takes to eliminate or reduce overtaking and passing penalties, such as high fines or points on your driving record. Schedule a complimentary consultation today by calling (410) 580-1100 or filling out our contact form. Attorney Traub will utilize his over 30 years of experience to fight for you every step of the way.