FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION
October 12, 2017
Media and Communications Office
DPS Highlights School Bus Safety Efforts
– In conjunction with National School Bus Safety Week (Oct. 16-20), the Texas
Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging Texans to comply with laws
prohibiting drivers from passing school buses. During this period, DPS Highway
Patrol Troopers will be looking for drivers who violate the law. It is illegal
to pass any school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal – either
flashing red lights or a stop sign.
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.”
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.”
National School Bus Safety Week, Troopers in many areas will be riding on or
following school buses to catch motorists who break the law. Because children
are particularly vulnerable when entering or exiting a school bus, Troopers
will also be patrolling areas where school buses pick up and drop off students.
Drivers who violate the law could face fines as much as $1,250.
2016 and year to date in 2017, Texas Highway Patrol Troopers have issued 1,100
citations and 573 warnings for passing a stopped school bus.
to Texas statute, a driver – traveling in either direction on a roadway – must
stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped and operating a
visual signal. 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; or the visual signal is no longer activated.
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. However, if the lanes are separated by an intervening space or
physical barrier, only motorists traveling in the same direction as the bus are
required to stop.
a reminder, school buses, by law, must stop at all railroad crossings.)
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.
to the Texas Education Agency, more than 42,000 school buses transport
approximately 1.5 million Texas children every school day.
### (HQ 2017-113)