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By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun | May 13, 2010
Funny Cide's owners swear they were never especially superstitious. At least not until the former high school buddies opted to save on transportation money by renting a school bus to take them from their hotel to Churchill Downs in May 2003. After their long shot gelding won the Kentucky Derby that day, they rented exactly the same sort of iconic yellow buses to transport them to the Preakness (which they won) and the Belmont (they lost). "We were going to ride those school buses as long as they would take us," co-owner Jack Knowlton said this week.
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NEWS
August 29, 2014
Like turning a battleship around in the ocean, steering unsafe public behavior in a different direction can seem an agonizingly slow process. When the behavior is intolerable, it is all the more frustrating. This is the case with the frequency of a dangerous traffic violation — drivers blowing past school buses that are stopped to pick up or drop off school children. In 2011, the Maryland State Department of Education began an annual survey. On a single school day in spring, the department asked school bus drivers to keep count of each violation he or she observed.
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NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2012
Automated speed cameras, installed around area schools three years ago with the goal of punishing dangerous drivers and making the streets safer for children, have caught hundreds of school buses speeding near the schools they serve, often with children aboard, a Baltimore Sun analysis has found. Privately owned buses have received at least 800 automated speed citations in Baltimore City, while city-owned buses have accumulated more than 50, records show. And Baltimore County public school buses have triggered speed cameras more than 100 times over the past two years.
NEWS
August 25, 2014
This week, youngsters across Maryland will board the "big yellow cheese wagon," as it's sometimes called, and head back to school. And chances are high (aside perhaps from those teary-eyed moms and dads waving good-bye to their kindergartners for the first time), the school bus commute from home to classroom will take place without incident. But the latest survey conducted by the Maryland State Department of Education shows that the students' fate is being tempted on a regular basis by drivers who seem either unaware of the law or unwilling to follow it. Drivers are forbidden to pass a bus in either direction when its stop arm swings out and its lights are flashing, yet that happens all the time.
NEWS
September 21, 1992
Would you keep a car on the road for more than 12 years? Not likely. But that's what two local jurisdictions are doing with school buses as a result of a new state law and a $55 million reduction in state funding for school bus programs.Enacted last May, the law allows local education departments to operate school buses beyond the 12-year limit set in the early 1970s. The only jurisdictions to exercise the option so far are Baltimore County and, to a lesser degree, Baltimore City.Baltimore County saw its state bus funding drop from $14 million last fiscal year to $10 million this year.
NEWS
By Jody K. Vilschick and Jody K. Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | May 15, 2005
IT IS no wonder those yellow school buses are almost universally abhorred and despised by Maryland drivers. We just don't know what to do around them. "Am I the only one who finds the yellow caution lights a bit confusing?" asked Don Oliver of Columbia. "Several times I have found myself in the limbo zone. I'm approaching a school bus from the opposite direction, the yellow caution lights are on. Do I stop, or keep going? Once I kept going and just as I reached the bus the driver changed to red lights, causing me to slam on my brakes to avoid passing a stopped school bus -- only to have the bus drive past me before stopping."
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller and Nicole Fuller,nicole.fuller@baltsun.com | October 6, 2009
Fifteen Anne Arundel County school bus routes were delayed Monday morning after the discovery that several school buses were damaged by apparent vandalism, police and school officials said. Police were dispatched to the 1400 block of Odenton Road, a lot where school buses are parked, and found that the electrical lines of 14 buses had been cut, said Justin Mulcahy, a police spokesman. "The buses were all inoperable," said Mulcahy. "It looks like the electrical lines were cut, unfortunately."
NEWS
By MIKE BURNS | March 15, 1998
SCHOOL BUSES are arguably safer than any other form of vehicular transportation. They have all manner of flashing lights and stop signs aboard, and a distinctive yellow coat that virtually shouts out "Caution. Children."Given a choice, most parents would prefer that their children get on the bus rather than walk to and from school. They'd also prefer the bus to ferrying them in a private car.But that preference for school buses may seem strange in some ways. School buses don't have seat belts for the young occupants, even though it's a legal requirement for private motor vehicles in Maryland.
NEWS
By Jody K. Vilschick and Jody K. Vilschick,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | September 23, 2003
IAIN McINTOSH weighed in on last week's column, in which I recommended that bus drivers who wave cars around them stop this practice because it might add to an attitude of entitlement. "I would contend that precisely the opposite is the case. If school bus drivers were compelled to pull over and allow the rest of us to pass, there would be less incentive to break the law by passing when they stop to load/unload," he said. "I believe it is the law in California (and possibly elsewhere)
NEWS
By KEVIN THOMAS | June 25, 1995
From the category of sad and predictable comes the pledge from the Howard County PTA Council that its first survey on school safety will be repeated annually.As sure as day follows night, this means the council intends to use this survey whenever possible to push for more buses to transport students.This is because PTA officials believe their questionnaire reveals the depths of parents' fears about their children's safety when they walk to school along county roads and pathways.And let's not forget that the survey was spawned on the heels of a spate of protests last year from parents requesting more transportation -- protests that the board correctly resisted.
NEWS
August 14, 2014
I live in Mays Chapel North and now have an elementary school in my backyard. Come a few weeks from now and our peaceful senior development will be chaos, with school buses and screaming children ("Kamenetz is a bully; put him in his place on election day," Aug. 9). We raised our children and are mostly grandparents, so we have nothing against kids, just politicians who are power hungry and are the closest thing to dictators. Our beautiful 10-acre park was destroyed by bulldozers along with our peace and quiet.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | August 1, 2014
About a dozen schoolchildren at the Willows Apartments in Glen Burnie queued up curbside as the Anne Arundel County school bus pulled up. Some kids were flanked by parents and toddler siblings who appeared just as excited to see the bus; the moment had all the trappings of the first day of school. But that's a few weeks away. Instead, the bus had come with a mainstay for students in the area: healthy meals. School officials opened the rear of the bus and set up tables with some of the same food offered during the school year, feeding not only the schoolchildren but siblings who won't begin classes for a couple of years.
NEWS
February 7, 2014
I was outraged by Harford County's decision to open schools on Monday despite the severe weather conditions, thus putting our children, bus drivers, teachers and vehicles at risk ( "Sleet, snow snares roads in Harford, closes schools early," Feb. 3). All day Sunday the forecasts remained dire, and as late as 2 a.m. there was essentially no change. If anything, the picture was getting worse. The possibility of extreme weather was clear as a bell. I understand that weather forecasting is not a promise of what's going to happen, but it's also not a game of chance with only money to lose.
NEWS
August 30, 2013
Growing realization has a way of bringing changes in the law. Take drunken driving. Decades ago, it was taken less seriously than it is now. But as the public began to see the carnage caused by intoxicated motorists, punishment became accordingly more severe. So it is happening with another form of reckless driving behavior - blowing past school buses that are stopped for children to board or disembark. This maneuver is dangerous on multiple levels. It is worse than running a red light because the bus creates an enormous blind spot for the motorist blowing past and, of course, children, impetuous and unpredictable by nature, are always present.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2013
Charis Ramsing will watch her former Wilde Lake High classmates return to school next week, having already told them she's transferring elsewhere for a year. The rising junior from Columbia doesn't begin classes at her new school until next month, and while her Wilde Lake friends are packing lunches and boarding school buses, she'll be packing suitcases for a long flight. Ramsing is transferring to the Institut de L'Agdal, a private French school in Rabat, Morocco, for her junior year as a recipient of a scholarship from the State Department's Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES)
NEWS
Staff Reports, The Baltimore Sun | August 26, 2013
As of 9 a.m. Monday, the Maryland Department of Transportation was reporting most major incidents of the morning have been eased. An accident on southbound I-95 at I-195 in Baltimore County that had been affecting travels lanes is now off to the shoulder. Traffic on the outer loop of the Beltway at Harford Road has largely cleared out, according to MDOT cameras, but there is still some heavy volume on the west side at Liberty Road heading toward the Security area. One new issue is on southbound Camp Meade Road (Route 170)
NEWS
March 28, 1991
Twenty students and a bus driver were injured today when two school buses collided in front of the Benjamin Banneker Middle School in Burtonsville, but Montgomery County officials said the injuries did not appear to be serious.Fire officials said the accident occurred about 8:15 a.m. when two buses were delivering students to the school at 14800 Perry Wood Drive. They said six ambulances responded.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | September 9, 2000
In a statewide inspection of school buses suspected of having faulty brakes, six buses were found to have frayed wiring that could render anti-lock braking systems ineffective, state education officials reported yesterday. The wiring problems were found in buses in Anne Arundel, Garrett and Prince George's counties. Repairs were made and the buses put back in service. The inspections in Maryland's 24 school systems were prompted by alerts issued this week by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems about its anti-lock braking system and air brakes installed on buses made beginning in 1998.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | August 15, 2013
Eastern Shore and Western Maryland lawmakers joined Comptroller Peter Franchot on Thursday in calling for school to start after Labor Day. The proposed change, hailed as a way to promote family time and extend the tourist season, would have a $74.3 million economic impact, the Bureau of Revenue Estimates said in a new report. School starts this year in most school systems around the state Aug. 26, a week before Labor Day. "It's one of the traditions we should bring back," Franchot said on the Ocean City boardwalk.
NEWS
August 14, 2013
Imagine for a moment that you are in a hurry. It's 7:30 in the morning, and you're stuck in your car late for work on a two-lane suburban road behind a big yellow school bus that's stopping frequently to pick up kids. Might you be tempted to pass it even as its lights are flashing and the driver has the "stop" arm extended? Probably not. But then perhaps you would. Just a few months ago, Maryland school bus drivers completed their annual one-day tally of drivers who dare to pass them as they are picking up youngsters.
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