School Bus Safety Week
The following is a message in conjunction with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
According to the Texas Education Agency, more than 42,000 school buses transport approximately 1.5 million Texas children every school day. We all share in the responsibility of making sure our schoolchildren are safe while traveling to and from school on school buses, which is why, in conjunction with National School Bus Safety Week, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans to comply with laws prohibiting drivers from passing school buses.
Children are particularly vulnerable when entering or exiting a school bus, which is why it is illegal to pass any school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal – either flashing red lights or a stop sign. The driver may not proceed until one of the following occurs:
- the school bus resumes motion
- the operator is signaled by the bus driver to proceed
- the visual signal is no longer activated.
Drivers who violate the law could face fines as much as $1,250.
“Motorists should always be alert and practice safe driving habits when traveling near school buses or anywhere school children gather, including bus stops,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Texas parents can rest assured that DPS will not tolerate those who recklessly endanger children by ignoring the law.”
“Ensuring our students have a safe trip to and from school is a commitment the Texas Education Agency shares with the Texas Department of Public Safety,” said Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath. “We commend the dedication of our Texas Highway Patrol, as well as local law enforcement, during National School Bus Safety week and throughout the year in working to keep our students safe.”
Here are several safety measures drivers can take to help keep children safer:
- When driving in school zones, watch out for student pedestrians.
- Slow down and watch for children congregating near bus stops.
- Look for children who might dart into the street without checking for traffic.
- Know and obey the traffic laws regarding school buses in Texas.
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