Stopping for red flashing lights on a schoolbus in Maryland

Under 21-706 of the Maryland Transportation Article, you have to stop at least 20 feet behind (if approaching from behind) or 20 feet from the front (if approaching from the front) of a schoolbus with red flashing lights or a stop-sign extended out from the bus.  There is an exception for buses on the opposite side of a “divided highway.”  The definition of a divided highway is a little complicated and could be clearer, but it essentially means space, barrier or impediment between two “roadways.”  There’s no definition of precisely how sharp the division has to be; there’s no requirement for a curb, a jersey wall, a separation by dirt or something other than pavement, an physically impenetrable barrier, etc.; the statute could be much clearer, particularly since it involves 2 points and up to $1000.00 in fines.

If there is any doubt in your mind about whether you are or are not on a “divided highway”, you should absolutely stop for the bus in Maryland.

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