SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — According to a press release from the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office, they will be occasionally riding in school buses to catch drivers violating school bus traffic laws.
According to the release, these officers will be notifying other deputies in marked units of any violations made by drivers such as passing the school bus when unsafe or passing a school bus while the stop sign is extended and red lights are active.
In Texas, drivers are required to stop for flashing red lights on a school bus, regardless of which direction the vehicle is traveling, unless a physical barrier divides the road lanes.
Violators can receive up to a $1,250 fine, driver’s license suspension, and even jail time, depending on the number of convictions and the seriousness of the incident.
Currently, several operations have already been conducted this year and more are planned.
“It is the goal of the TGSO to gain voluntary compliance with these school bus laws and increase the safety of students and drivers on all school buses in Tom Green County'” said the release.
Yellow Flashing lights
Yellow flashing lights mean the bus is getting ready to stop to load or unload students. Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop.
Reed Flashing Lights
Red flashing lights with an extended stop sign means the bus is stopped and students are getting on or off. Drivers approaching the school bus from either direction must stop, even if the road is divided by a turning lane unless a median or other physical barrier such as a wall or fence separates the road lanes. Vehicles may not pass the school bus until the red lights stop flashing, the extended stop sign is pulled back into place, the school bus has started to move, and the bus driver signals for vehicles to proceed.