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MCFRS News Release


For Immediate Release:
August 25, 2013

Release ID: 13-031
Contact: Scott Graham, Public Information Office
(240) 876-1260 Phone
(240) 777-2442 Media Line
Follow us @MCFirePIO

Slow Down, Watch Out. Kids Ahead!

Back to School Safety Tips

Montgomery County, MD - - - Children across the region are heading back to school and Fire Chief Steve Lohr is asking all drivers to exercise extra caution and be alert as the school year begins. “Safety is our top priority. With schools back in session, drivers should allow extra time and be on the look-out for children at intersections and in neighborhoods,” said Chief Lohr. “Additionally, as a matter of safety and compliance with laws, drivers are reminded to put their cell phones down and refrain from talking or texting while behind the wheel.”

For Drivers

Reminders for Parents and Children

School Bus Safety – What Motorists Should Know 

All motorists are required by law to stop when the red lights on buses are flashing. Passing a school bus when the red lights are flashing is not only illegal it is also one of the biggest threats to student safety. Motorists should be aware that the red flashing lights and the stop sign may be engaged shortly after the amber lights are on. Vehicles traveling in the same direction as the bus are always required to stop. In Maryland, the law states that vehicles must come to a complete stop on both sides of the roadway if there is no physical divider or barrier. Violations can result in a citation and fine.

Home Alone 

Parents need to carefully consider the pros and cons of having a child stay home alone before/after school. Be familiar with laws and child protective policies in your jurisdiction and, because children mature at different rates, your decision should not be based on age alone. Children should master important safety skills before staying home alone. Be sure to make and practice a home fire escape plan that includes a designated “safe” area outside where everyone will meet if the smoke alarm sounds and ensure they know when and how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. Unattended cooking continues to be the leading cause of home fires in Montgomery County and firefighters strongly recommend having after school snacks on hand that do not require cooking. Children should only use kitchen appliances while under close adult supervision. Additional safety tips can be found on our website at mcfrs.org/mcsafe. 
 

For the law in Maryland

Section 5-801 provides:

(a) A person who is charged with the care of a child under the age of 8 years may not allow the child to be locked or confirmed in a dwelling, building, enclosure or motor vehicle while the person charged is absent and the dwelling, building, enclosure or motor vehicle is out of the sight of the person charged unless the person charged provides a reliable person at least 13 years old to remain with the child to protect the child.
 

 

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