The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reminds the public to ensure the safety of students and staff on the roads.
âReturning to school is an exciting time for students, parents and staff, but it is essential that drivers are more alert when they are near buses and schools,â said the director of the school. DPS, Steven McCraw. âI urge everyone on the road to be proactive and to ensure that children arrive and return safely to school every day. “
DPS offers the following tips for school safety:
- Give students extra space and don’t assume they are paying attention to traffic. Students are often distracted by mobile devices or listening to electronic devices and may not pay attention to their surroundings.
- Do not block a crosswalk when you are stopped at a red light or stop sign.
- Follow the instructions of the school crossing guards.
- Watch for children on bicycles to and from school.
- Reduce speed when you spot a school bus and know children may unexpectedly enter the road without checking oncoming traffic.
- Be careful around level crossings. School buses are legally required to stop there.
- Know the laws regarding school buses. According to Texas law, if a bus has alternate flashing red signals visible from the front or rear, drivers MUST stop before reaching the bus. Drivers can only continue if the flashing lights are no longer on, if the driver signals you to continue, or if the bus is back on the road. Approaching drivers do NOT have to stop for a school bus that activates a visual signal if the road is separated by a physical barrier or intermediate space. If a freeway is only divided by a left turn lane, it is not considered divided and drivers must stop to take school buses.
- Drivers who illegally pass a school bus can face fines of up to $ 1,250 for the first offense. For those convicted of the offense more than once, the law allows the person’s driver’s license to be suspended for up to six months. A ticket for this offense cannot be dismissed for defensive driving. Criminal charges are possible if a driver causes serious bodily harm to someone.
- Always obey speed limits and traffic laws in school zones.
- Texting while driving is illegal in Texas.