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DPS reminds motorists: Do not pass stopped school buses
Steven “Beaver” Wallace, district operations supervisor for Student Transportation Specialists in Floresville (left), and Sgt. J. Ryan Christian of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol remind motorists not to attempt to pass stopped school buses.
Wilson County NewsAugust 22, 2012 3,160 views 1 comment
Following on the heels of a successful partnership last school year between the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Highway Patrol and school districts in Wilson and Karnes counties, DPS plans to take to the area’s highways and byways when school starts Monday, Aug. 27.
DPS Sgt. J. Ryan Christian, who oversees the two counties, said the partnership last school year resulted in several traffic stops involving drivers who disregarded the flashing lights and stop signs of stopped school buses.
“This year, our slogan is, ‘If you don’t stop for these flashing reds, you’ll stop for these,’” said Steven “Beaver” Wallace, district operations supervisor for Student Transportation Specialists in Floresville, as he pointed to a school bus and a DPS patrol car.
(Public schools begin classes Aug. 27)
Wallace oversees the daily transportation for approximately 3,700 students in the Floresville, Stockdale, and Karnes City independent school districts. He urges motorists to prepare to stop when they see the amber lights on a school bus begin to flash, in order to diminish the danger of striking a distracted student.
Christian said he plans to post troopers randomly on school buses both in the mornings and afternoons. The routes will not be limited to those that travel major highways, but also county roads and streets that wind through residential subdivisions.
The troopers will ride with students and watch for traffic violations that surrounding motorists commit. Upon sighting an infraction, the trooper will alert one of his or her nearby counterparts, who then will act.
“Our goal is to protect the children,” Christian said.
According to Section 545.066 of the Texas Transportation Code, anyone found guilty of passing a school bus that is receiving or discharging students while its flashing lights and stop sign are active can be fined $200 to $1,000 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses are subject to up to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Drivers are required to stop for school buses on their same roadway, whenever the red flashing lights and stop signs on the bus are activated. In cases where a grass median or other physical barrier separates two directions of traffic -- such as on U.S. 181 north of Floresville -- opposing traffic is not required to stop.
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August 23, 2012 12:56pm
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