The Honorable Casper R. Taylor, Jr.
Speaker of the House
Annapolis MD 21401
Dear Mr. Speaker:
In accordance with Article II, Section 17 of the Maryland Constitution, I have today vetoed House Bill 976 - Vehicle Laws - School Buses - Repeal of Special Speed Limit.
House Bill 976 repeals a statutory provision that limits the speed of a school bus that is carrying passengers to 50 miles per hour, regardless of the posted speed limit of the road or highway on which the school bus is traveling. While I understand and appreciate the concerns of the sponsor and supporters of the bill that current law sometimes may create situations where a school bus travels 10-20 miles per hour below the speed of other vehicles, I have concerns about the safety of students traveling on a school bus, without being secured by seat belts, at speeds of up to 65 miles per hour. In the absence of significant evidence that the current law poses a serious safety risk to students, and that changing the law would greatly improve the safety of our children, I cannot support this legislation. I, like all Marylanders, am seriously concerned about the potential consequences of unsecured students being involved in an accident at any speed. I cannot support a change in the law that may create a situation where an accident may occur while a school bus is traveling 65 miles per hour.
For the above reasons, I have vetoed House Bill 976.
Parris N. Glendening