Texas DPS to Step Up Enforcement During School Bus Safety Week
The Texas Department of Public Safety is reminding Texas drivers to obey state law by not passing any stopped school bus with flashing lights or a stop sign.
The week of October 21st through the 25th is designated as National School Bus Safety Week, and Texas DPS says that their troopers will be enhancing their efforts to catch those drivers that break the law.
“The moment when students are entering or exiting the bus is one of the most dangerous times of a student’s trip; and drivers who pass a stopped school bus create a potentially deadly situation,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “The safety of Texas children is paramount, and DPS will not tolerate those who break the law and put our children at risk.”
During the week, troopers in many areas across the state will be riding on or following school buses to catch motorists who disregard the law. Drivers who violate the law could face fines of up to $1,250, which was increased by new legislation in September.
Texas Highway Patrol troopers issued 449 tickets for passing a stopped school bus in 2012. Last year, 840 crashes in Texas involved school buses, according to TxDOT.
A driver, traveling in either direction, must stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped an operating a visual signal. The motorist may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion, the operator is signaled by the bus driver to proceed, or the visual signal is no longer activated.
If a road is divided only by a left-turning lane, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop for school buses with alternating red flashing lights activated. If the lanes are separated by an intervening space or physical barrier, only motorists going in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.