The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 31, in Montgomery County, and the county, along with the county’s police department and the school system want to remind you of some very important rules, which will be very expensive to forget!

We all know that we should stop our cars when traveling in the same direction of a stopped school bus with activated flashing red lights. Similarly, drivers coming from the opposite direction must stop when approaching a stopped school bus unless a physical barrier such as a median exists between the car and the bus.

Montgomery County has equipped 25 school buses with cameras to record any vehicles that pass a stopped bus. Police said they plan to eventually have cameras on up to 100 buses. According to the number of violations the school bus camera program has recorded, there are way too many people driving past a stopped school bus. According to MCP Traffic Division Director Captain Tom Didone, there have been nearly 2000 violation in the first eighteen months of the school bus camera program.

At least the county is making money. Drivers must pay a $125 fine if they are cited for passing a bus by one of the vehicle cameras but no points are associated through this program. If a police officer tickets a driver for violating school bus laws, the fine is $570 plus three points in the driver’s license.

Remember that the you may never pass a stopped school bus on a two-lane roadway, a two-lane roadway with a center turning lane and a four-lane roadway without a median separation. The only exception is for a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation.

We love our children in Bethesda. Please keep them safe by following the traffic rules! And if you have any questions about real estate in Bethesda, then call the Lise Howe Group at 240-401-5577 or email us at!