We see school busses on the road every day and entrust them with the safe transportation of our children to school. “During the school year, 23.5 million elementary and secondary school children ride a bus to and from school each day, according to School Transportation News,” according to Stanford Children’s Health.
However, not all people are aware of the proper safety protocols when we encounter a school bus while driving. School busses all follow sets of rules, such as they must stop at railroad crossings. We must also stop for busses that have stopped and are flashing lights while using their extended stop sign.
School Bus Stop Protocol
Last year, DPS Director Steven McCraw issued the following statement;
“Motorists should always be alert and practice safe driving habits when traveling near school buses or anywhere school children gather, including bus stops… Texas parents can rest assured that DPS will not tolerate those who recklessly endanger children by ignoring the law.”
Tthe DPS is serious about protecting the safety of our kids when they’re travelling to and from school. Under state statutes it is our legal responsibility, whichever way we’re driving on a roadway, to pull to a stop when we see a school bus which is stationary and operating a visual stop signal whether this is a stop sign or flashing red lights.
You may not resume transit until either the school bus is once again in motion or the driver has signaled for you to proceed. It’s always advisable to double check that the stop sign has been retracted or the flashing lights have been deactivated before setting off.
You are not, however, required to stop when passing a school bus on a different road or when on a controlled-access highway.
What Happens if I Don’t?
Failure to comply with this statute can endanger the lives of our children and result in a fine of up to $1,250. Wherever you’re trying to get to, it’s not worth putting children’s wellbeing in jeopardy.
Not So Fun Facts
“Each year, about 17,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with school buses. Children can be injured when riding the bus, getting on or off the bus, or standing near the bus,” says Stanford Children’s Health.
“From 2007 to 2016 there were 320,874 fatal motor vehicle traffic crashes. Of those crashes, 1,147 (0.4%) were classified as school-transportation-related,” says NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis.
Two Way Roads
If you’re driving on a two–way road, even if you are on the other side of the road, it is still your responsibility to stop when you see a stopped school bus with an activated stop sign. If a road is divided only by a left-turning lane, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop for school buses when they have their red flashing lights activated.
If, on the other hand, the lanes are separated by a median; an intervening space or physical barrier, only motorists traveling in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.
Quick Tips to Remember!
- 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 looking for traffic.
- Know and obey the laws concerning traffic and school buses in Texas.
Jeff Davis Is Here 4 You!
We always want you to drive safely. Remember to be aware of your surroundings, minimize your distractions, and pay attention to proper school bus protocol. Should you find yourself in need of a personal injury lawyer, you can always contact us at (210) 444-4444, (956) 444-4444 or (361) 999-9999. Davis Law Firm is here 24/7 for you! Our team of legal representatives offer free initial consultation.