Public Information Office
August 10, 2006
Be on the Lookout for School Children, School Buses
School children across the state will head back to school soon. The Texas Department of Public Safety reminds all drivers to watch out for children walking to school or waiting for school buses--and to obey all traffic laws related to school buses.
Drivers also need to slow down and pay attention in school zones. Children may not be looking for oncoming traffic when they step into the roadway, so drivers must remain alert.
“Although school buses are the safest form of transportation for students, the most dangerous time of the journey is when children are entering and exiting the bus,” said Col. Thomas A. Davis, Jr., director of the DPS. “When a school bus is loading or unloading students, the law requires that drivers stop on most roadways.”
State law requirements
State law requires approaching drivers to stop when a school bus is stopped and operating a visual signal (red flashing lights or a stop sign). Drivers should not proceed until the school bus resumes motion; the driver is signaled by the bus driver to proceed; or the visual signal is no longer activated. A driver does not have to stop for a school bus if it is on a highway with roadways separated by an intervening space or physical barrier. (If a highway is divided only by a left-turning lane, the roadways are not separated, and drivers must stop for school buses.)
Punishment for drivers who do not stop
Drivers who do not stop for school buses face a fine of up to $1,000. If a driver is convicted of this offense more than one time, DPS can suspend their license for up to six months.
“DPS has zero tolerance for vehicles that pass stopped school buses,” Davis said. “Drivers must slow down, obey school zone speed limits and stop for school buses to ensure the safety of Texas school children.”
For more information on school bus safety, please contact DPS School Bus Safety Program Administrator Charley Kennington at 254-759-7235 or the Public Information Office at 512-424-2080. More information is also located at http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/schoolbus.