BALTIMORE — An analysis by The Baltimore Sun has found that “hundreds” of privately owned and public school buses are speeding near the schools they serve.
Automated speed cameras were installed in school zones (areas within a half-mile radius of a school) three years ago in an effort to protect schoolchildren. Tickets are issued only to vehicles recorded driving at least 12 mph over the speed limit. According to The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore County public school buses have triggered speed cameras more than 100 times over the past two years, privately owned buses have received at least 800 automated speed citations and city-owned buses have accumulated more than 50.
Officials at the city and county school systems told the newspaper that they require their drivers to pay the $40 citations, and ticketed drivers face a graduated series of disciplinary measures. City school district officials said that they have no way of knowing how many privately owned buses have gotten tickets while carrying public school students because the companies aren't required to notify the district when their buses receive citations, but they told the newspaper that they will begin requiring contractors to report speed camera tickets.
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Following the publication of that article, Robert Edwards, president of the Maryland School Bus Contractors Association, wrote an editorial to The Baltimore Sun in response to the article.
He wrote that while the association does not represent any school bus contractors in Baltimore City and has no affiliation with the companies mentioned in the article, it is a "serious issue that needed to be brought to light." He went on to write that the association is committed to the safe and efficient transportation of Maryland's schoolchildren, and it strives daily to "improve the quality of pupil transportation throughout the state."