ARLINGTON, Va. (ABC7) — Dangerous driving around school buses is a real cause for concern, especially this time of year as buses return to our region's roads.
"It's very alarming, you really can't miss them, they put on amber lights that give you warning they are going to stop," says Arlington County Police Spokesperson Ashley Savage.
In Arlington County alone last school year, 618 drivers were forced to pay the $250 fine for passing a stopped school bus.
About 180 drivers were cited in just one month.
Montgomery County police say through March of last year nearly 11,000 tickets were issued.
AAA says that number soared to 15,000 by the end of the school year.
And starting this October, the fine for passing a stopped school bus in Maryland doubles from $250 to $500.
AAA says children are the most unpredictable pedestrians so everyone needs to be aware, and this year even more kids could be standing on the street corner all on the same day.
That's because Maryland schools will join many Virginia schools and return to class after Labor Day.
"We won't and haven't seen any kind of gridlock like this in years," says John Townsend of AAA Mid-Atlantic.
That means even more traffic trying to get back in the swing of things.
"More importantly traffic patterns will change and that puts kids in harms way because we haven't gotten accustomed to driving with them on the road again, " adds Townsend
Many jurisdictions plan to have extra officers out on the road monitoring traffic and school zones.