Ask any school bus driver and you will learn that on any given morning or afternoon school bus run, distracted drivers are blowing through the buses’ stop signs and endangering students.
“This is something that happens every day over and over and over again,” said Queen Anne’s County school bus driver Wendy Hampton, of Centreville. “Some of the bus drivers don’t even call it in anymore because they think nothing is being done. I’m a bus driver here in Centreville and very rarely does a day go by that they don’t run my lights. A lot of the time it’s because they are texting. We have at least 2 calls each afternoon. That’s 2 calls too many,” said Hampton as she addressed the county commissioners during their June 25 meeting to encourage the county to adopt Ordinance 19-09 to enable the use of video cameras on school buses.
“I’m scared to death. I’ve talked to everyone that I can think of. I don’t know what to do about it. My kids are more important to me than anything else and I’ve said, something is going to happen to a child if something isn’t done soon. It’s scary, like I said, it’s daily. We need cameras, and we need them on both sides of the bus, you don’t know how many people pass us on the shoulder where the door is. Please, please do something about it before a child is killed.”
The commissioners’ first opportunity to vote for this ordinance will be at their next meeting July 9th.
County Administrator Todd Mohn said there is strong support for this ordinance from the county commissioners. During the hearing Commissioner James Moran asked about the amount of the fine.
“Make it a fine that’s going to hurt,” said Commissioner Christopher Corchiarino.
Commissioner Moran replied, “If the fine doesn’t hurt they will just keep doing it.”