The Texas Department of Public Safety is urging all Texans to comply with laws prohibiting drivers to comply with laws prohibiting drivers from passing stopped school buses for National School Bus Safety Week (Oct. 22-26).
DPS troopers across the state will be riding and/or following school buses to ensure that drivers are obeying school bus laws. DPS Director Steven McCraw says, “DPS urges that all motorists to make the safety of our schoolchildren a top priority year round, and to practice safe driving habits when traveling near school buses, in school zones and wherever children are present”.
MCraw also says that, “Drivers who disregard the law needlessly put children in danger, and that type of reckless behavior will not be tolerated by law enforcement.”.
According to the Texas Education Agency, more then 43,000 school buses transport approximately 1.6 million Texas children every day.
DPS is reminding motorists of school bus traffic laws
- It is illegal to pass a school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal, either flashing red lights or a stop sign. The driver may not proceed until one of the following occurs: the school bus resumes motion; the operator is signaled by the bus driver, or the visual signal is no longer activated. Those who violate the law could face fines up to $1,250.
- If a road is divided only by a left-turning lane, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop for school buses with alternating red flashing lights activated. However, if the lanes are separated by an intervening space or physical barrier, only motorists traveling in the same direction as the bu are required to stop.
- School buses are required to stop at all railroad crossings.
Safety measures drivers can take to help keep children safe
- Be mindful of posted speed limits when driving in school zones near buses.
- Slow down and watch for children congregating near bus stops.
- be aware of student pedestrians and watch for children who may unexpectedly dart into the street without checking for traffic.
- Know and obey the traffic laws regarding school buses in Texas.