New Herald-Mail feature looks to answer readers' questions

The new feature, now known as "Monday Breakdown," will have a broader scope

December 02, 2012
  • A school bus is shown on the road Wednesday.
By Andrew Schotz, Staff Writer

The Herald-Mail is expanding “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”

Since 2009, the feature has provided a weekly look at safety problems, major annoyances and pet peeves under the direct control of local, county or state government.

The new feature, now known as “Monday Breakdown,” will have a broader scope.

We will continue to welcome the same types of submissions from readers as before. But now, we also will seek answers to questions of many more types.

Any question that starts with “Why...?” is fair game.

As before, we will not pursue every question. We’ll stick with what’s unusual or of general interest to a broad readership.

Following is our first question and answer.

Someone recently asked The Herald-Mail about the practice of school buses stopping on railroad tracks.

In Maryland, buses are required to stop before they cross.

Here’s what a AAA Digest of Motor Laws website says:

“A driver of a vehicle shall stop between 15-50 feet of a railroad crossing whenever a crossing gate is lowered, a flagman signals the approach or passage of a railroad train, a railroad train approaching within 1,500 feet of the crossing gives an audible signal that because of its speed or nearness it is an immediate danger, or a railroad train is plainly visible and is approaching dangerously near to the crossing.


“The following vehicles are to stop at all railroad crossings: vehicles carrying passengers for hire; school vehicles carrying any passengers; every bus owned or operated by a church and carrying any passenger; every vehicle carrying flammable liquids or explosives; and every vehicle carrying hazardous materials.”

Ask away

If you have a question we could help answer — about a safety problem, a major annoyance, a pet peeve or anything else — send the information (and a photo that illustrates the question, if possible) to:

Monday Breakdown
c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom
100 Summit Ave.
Hagerstown MD 21740

Photos that illustrate the question are welcome.

You also may send an email to Please include a phone number where we can reach you.

We will answer select questions each Monday. We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes or consumer problems.

The Herald-Mail Articles