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Breaking News

Watch for children as new school year begins

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Texas Department of Public Safety
August 23, 2013, 3:51pm
3,026 views | 5 comments

AUSTIN -- As Texas children begin to head back to school, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is reminding all drivers to watch out for children walking to and from school or waiting for school buses. Drivers must also obey all traffic laws related to school buses and active school zones.

“As the new school year opens, I urge drivers to do their part in keeping youngsters safe by obeying school zone speed limits and stopping for school buses,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “DPS will not tolerate individuals who disregard the law and illegally pass stopped school buses.”

One of the most dangerous times of a student’s trip on a school bus is when they are entering or exiting the bus. Drivers are cautioned to slow down and pay attention in school zones since children may not be looking for oncoming traffic when they step into a roadway.

State law requires that approaching drivers stop when a bus is stopped and operating a visual signal -- either 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.)

Beginning Sept. 1, drivers who illegally pass school buses will now face higher fines. The maximum fine for a first offense will increase from $1,000 to $1,250. For drivers convicted of this offense more than once, the law already allows DPS to suspend the driver license for up to six months. (A ticket for illegally passing a school bus cannot be dismissed through defensive driving.)

Your Opinions and Comments

melony mom  
August 27, 2013 12:32pm
You guys are ready to give each motorist a ticket "pointing finger and judging". Ask them their story! "I was driving down 181 at 65 mph and the school bus turned on their yellows and then reds without giving... More ›

William J. Gibbs Jr.  
August 27, 2013 11:49am
Just remember, motorists, DPS might be watching you. The programs mentioned in these two articles were supposed to be ongoing: More ›

August 26, 2013 3:59am
I think a second offense should be jail time up to one year in state prision not just losing a driver's license. In the extreme I would concider passing a school bus as attempted murder or at least attempted assult.

Concerned Tax Payer  
Floresville, Texas  
August 25, 2013 7:49am
My feelings exactly. If they would just spend a couple of weeks watching, writing tickets, maybe these people would follow the rules. So many drive fast and talk on their cells. If they made a law, it should be followed!!! So... More ›

August 24, 2013 9:29pm
As a bus driver for FISD, I see driver's fail to stop for buses red lights & stop signs day in & day out. Our buses are equipped with flashing yellow lights that are activated PRIOR to a stop to warn other traffic that... More ›

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