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More cameras net more traffic violators, Baltimore study says

For most of us in Baltimore, a traffic violation may seem relatively minor in comparison to a drunk driving ticket. However, traffic violations can increase your auto insurance rate, put points on your driving record and in some cases could cost you your job. Plus, they cost money.

A recent study was undertaken in 28 states during a two month time period. Cameras were mounted on school buses to determine how many people ignored the red stop sign arm and committed a traffic violation by simply driving around the school bus. The results were illuminating.

The study was conducted by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services. It included 100,000 drivers that captured video of more than 88,000 violations. It we multiplied this out by the number of school days in a year; this would increase to 16 million traffic violations. The number would be even higher if the remaining 22 states were added to the list.

Ignoring the school bus stop sign is not just a matter of avoiding a traffic ticket – it is a matter of life and death for the youngest among us. It was reported that 460 schoolchildren died in school bus loading and unloading zones during a 27 year period. Fifteen of those students were from Maryland.

Currently, there are three Maryland jurisdictions which have authorized the use of the school bus cameras: Montgomery County, Frederick County and Washington County. Frederick County was first to install the cameras so area residents might be seeing traffic tickets in their mailboxes soon if their car was spotted committing this offense.

The traffic violations are tracked down by the license plate number, so some who receive the ticket may choose to fight it on the grounds that they were not driving the car at that time. It is $125 for the first offense.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “The eyes on the bus,” Sept. 12, 2012

At our Baltimore criminal defense law office we represent individuals charged with traffic violations including speeding, reckless driving, driving without a driver’s license and the school bus traffic violation mentioned in this post.

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