CENTREVILLE — A unanimous vote by the Queen Anne’s County commissioners during their Tuesday, July 9, meeting approved Ordinance 19-09 providing for photographic enforcement and administrative adjudication of school bus stop arm violations and imposition of civil fines.
The ordinance, introduced by Commissioner Chris Corchiarino, will take effect Aug. 24 and amends “Chapter 13 of the Code of Public Local Laws of the Queen Anne’s County regarding the use of school bus monitoring cameras by school and law enforcement officials.”
The ordinance also says “the Sheriff of Queen Anne’s County is authorized to use school bus monitoring cameras in consultation with the Board of Education of Queen Anne’s County.”
Support from the public for the ordinance came during the Tuesday, June 25, meeting when the commissioners held a public hearing where student safety was addressed.
“We had received a number of complaints about the issue from concerned citizens. It was the type of issue that was happening with an alarming frequency. There’s no need to blow by a school bus when there are children getting off and on,” Corchiarino said.
Legislation went into effect in June to increase the fine for passing a stopped school bus to $500 in Maryland. The $500 fine is incurred if an officer pulls over a driver for failing to stop for a school bus when its red lights are flashing and children are being loaded or unloaded. It also established the fine for drivers who are ticketed by the school bus stop-arm cameras at $250.