MCFRS News Release

Back to School Safety Tips: Cell Phone and Driving DON'T Mix

Sign off before you drop off and hang up before you pick up

Rockville - - - Children across the region are heading back to school and Fire Chief Richie Bowers is asking drivers to exercise extra caution as the school year begins. “With schools back in session, drivers should take extra time to be on the look-out for kids at intersections and in roadways,”said Chief Bowers. “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 driving.”

For Drivers

Reminders for Parents and Children

School Bus Safety – What Motorists Should Know 

All drivers need to stop when the lights on school buses are flashing. Drivers should be aware Maryland law states that vehicles must come to a complete stop on both sides of the street if there is no physical divider or barrier. Drivers who pass the bus before all lights have ceased flashing may face the following consequences:

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, ensure they know when and how to call 9-1-1 in an emergency and  unattended cooking continues to be the leading cause of home fires in Montgomery County. Firefighters strongly recommend having after school snacks on hand that do not require cooking and that children only use kitchen appliances while under close adult supervision. Additional safety tips can be found on our website at 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.