New cameras are keeping watch for drivers who pass stopped school buses in Montgomery County.
The new enforcement program starts Thursday, when students return to classes.
County police said that during winter break, several buses were equipped with cameras that record vehicles passing stopped buses with activated flashing red lights. The department will review violations, and citations with $125 fines will be mailed to offending vehicles' registered owners.
"We don't want to try to fool people but we do want people to assume there may be a camera on any bus, so if they see a bus with flashing red lights, they should stop," Transportation Director for Montgomery County Public Schools Todd Watkins said.
Officials say the cameras will be shifted from bus to bus often.
According to records obtained by News4's I-Team, nearly 7,000 drivers passed school buses in one day last year.
Maryland law requires drivers traveling in the same direction as a stopped school bus stop when the buses' red lights are flashing.
Drivers traveling in the opposite direction must stop unless there is a barrier, such as a median.
Police say the program will target routes with the highest reports of violations.
A similar program has been operating in Falls Church, Va., since October. Prince George's County has also awarded a contract to a vendor for its own school bus camera program.