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Washington County awarded grant to enforce bus safety

July 25, 2011

Washington County has been awarded a $13,000 state grant for school-bus safety enforcement, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention said Monday.

The money is part of a total of $548,411 awarded statewide through the Maryland School Bus Safety Enforcement Fund, with a goal of reducing the number of vehicles illegally passing school buses while they are loading and unloading children, a news release said.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will use the funds for overtime patrols, during which deputies will follow school buses or monitor areas where illegal passing is common, Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore said.

In February, a study by the Maryland State Department of Education found that on a single day, there were 7,028 violations of school-bus safety laws statewide.

Nearly 4,000 were oncoming drivers who ignored the stop arm; 2,665 drivers moved past a stopped bus on the bus driver’s side of the vehicle; and 366 drivers passed a stopped bus on the door side, the release said.

— Heather Keels

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