Two new Maryland laws designed to boost pedestrian safety take effect this fall — measures that school officials hope will help protect children as schools open across the state.
Under the new laws passed by the General Assembly, the maximum fine for drivers who fail to stop for a school bus with flashing lights activated rises from $500 to $1,000.
A minimum fine of $65 will be set for drivers who fail to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk, with a maximum penalty of $500. Previously, there was no minimum fine, according to Delegate Bill Bronrott, D-Montgomery, a sponsor of the legislation.
Police officers who issue the citations also will no longer have to appear in court when a driver challenges the fines, Bronrott said.
Both laws take effect Oct. 1.
Montgomery County officials said that they plan a special traffic enforcement campaign when school opens there next week. Using $32,000 in grant money, county police will focus on speeders in school zones and drivers who don’t stop for school buses.
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