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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: safety

bus safety posterSchool Bus Safety Week is October 19 to 23

It’s up to all of us to make sure our children are safe getting on and off the school bus.

October is School Bus Safety month. From October 19 to 23, public safety officials focus on the importance of laws and regulations designed to keep kids who ride buses safe.

The theme of this year’s campaign “Be smart, be seen, I wait in a safe place” addresses the children’s role in staying safe while stressing that the drivers must be vigilant.

Traffic laws require drivers to come to a full stop when a school bus stops with lights flashing and the stop arm extended. Drivers can’t pull ahead until the bus gives the “okay” by cancelling the lights and pulling back the stop arm.

Drivers' Penalties

Although motorists may be on the other side of the street from the bus, they must stop unless there is a physical barrier between the two lanes. Children will cross the street after getting off the bus. The same holds true when children are boarding buses. Children are not paying attention to motorists. They are worried about getting to and on the bus in time. It is the motorist’s responsibility to stop and yield to bus riders.

There are penalties for the drivers who disregard the law and put children at risk. Drivers who pass a school bus while the lights are flashing and the stop arm extended could receive a $570 fine and three points. For motorists who stop and proceed before the bus lights have stopped, the fine is $570 and two points. Drivers who fail to stop and cause an accident may face additional charges.

Observe School Bus Safety Week by stopping when bus lights are flashing and the stop arm is extended. Our children depend on us for their safety.

Louise Rogers-Feher
Public Safety Office of Media and Communications

Department of Health Seeks People Who May Have Been Exposed

The Baltimore County Department of Health was notified on June 2 about a fox that has since tested positive for rabies. The rabid fox was recovered from the 2300 block of Sugarcone Road in Pikesville 21209, on Friday, May 29.

If you, anyone you know or your pet have had any direct exposure (bites, scratches or licks) to a fox between May 15 to 29, 2015, please contact the Baltimore County Department of Health immediately at 410-887-6011. If calling after 4:30 p.m., call 410-832-7182. Additionally, contact your medical provider for treatment.

The Baltimore County Department of Health reminds citizens of the potential dangers of feeding or handling any wildlife and provides the following rabies prevention tips:

  • Everyone should consider the risk of rabies and other diseases before taking in or interacting with any animal, especially if their home contains children, persons with certain illnesses, elderly or other pets.

  • Since rabies remains uncontrolled in the wild, avoid contact with wildlife as well as stray or feral animals, especially if they appear to be sick. There is no risk-free contact with these animals with regard to physical injury, rabies and other diseases.

  • Do not provide food, water or shelter to wildlife or strays. For pets that are fed outdoors, do not leave food or water bowls out for extended periods, especially overnight. Contain garbage in tightly-covered containers.

  • Persons considering adopting stray or feral cats should speak with a veterinarian for guidance. Contact your doctor and the local health department if you are bitten or scratched by a stray or feral cat.

  • Keep your pet’s rabies vaccinations up-to-date. Do not allow pets (even cats) to freely roam the neighborhood

Baltimore County Animal Services provides low-cost rabies vaccinations and spay/neutering. For information on getting your pet spayed-neutered, micro-chipped, licensed or vaccinated against rabies, visit Animal Services or call 410-887-PAWS (7297).

Initial Survey Assessment to Begin in Late May

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that preliminary design work is underway to address years-old concerns about traffic congestion and pedestrian safety by widening the busy section of Windsor Mill Road between Woodlawn Drive and Featherbed Lane.

“This roadway is a major artery with heavy traffic and a lot of pedestrian activity,” said Kamenetz. “We have worked very closely with community leaders and elected officials to get to this point and we will continue this collaboration as this long-term solution makes its way through the process.” Kamenetz added that projects like this generally take several years to execute.

Project Details

Crews are expected to begin surveying work on Windsor Mill for about three weeks starting in late May. County Department of Public Works engineers indicate that preliminary design work will take several months to complete, after which officials will meet with residents to get their input on proposed improvements. The overall project is estimated to cost $3 million and will include road widening and sidewalks on both sides of the street along the two-thirds of a mile stretch.

“The road is too narrow, and there is no safe place for people to walk,” said 4th District Councilman Julian E. Jones Jr. “The community came to the County and presented its case very well and I am pleased that the County Executive is moving forward to correct these safety concerns.”

This portion of Windsor Mill Road is primarily residential, but it is at the crossroads of commercial and school traffic. Adding roadway widening, sidewalks, new curbs and gutters, and new storm drains will facilitate both vehicular and pedestrian movement.

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