Now that school has started back up again, we can all expect to see more school buses operating on Texas roads. Of course, more school buses on the road means more traffic laws drivers everywhere must obey. The problem? Many drivers in Texas aren’t exactly sure when it is or is not okay to pass a school bus. A recent close call in Texas almost led to an accident when a Houston child exited her school bus and was almost hit by a car. These close calls, along with the start of the school year, serve as an important reminder for Texans to familiarize themselves with state school bus laws.
Here are some of the major Texas school bus laws you need to be aware of:
- It is illegal (in all 50 states, actually) to pass a school bus actively loading or unloading passengers. Passing on either side of the school bus can lead to a fine anywhere from $500 to $1250 or more in Texas.
- Texas law mandates drivers must stop when a school bus extends its stop sign or turns on its flashing red lights.
- When a school bus is stopped, drivers traveling on either side of the road must come to a complete stop.
- If the roadway is separated by a physical barrier (like a raised median for example) drivers do not have to stop for the school bus.
- A roadway is not considered separated by left turn lanes only, so drivers must stop for school buses in that case.
- Drivers can only pass a school bus if the flashing lights are no longer activated, or if it has resumed driving.
- Drivers must always obey speed zones with flashing school zone lights and/or signs. If not, they could face at least $200 in fines.
This image provides a great visual of when to pass or stop for a school bus:
Texas School Bus and Child Safety
According to the Texas Department Of Transportation (TxDOT), more than one million student passengers depend on buses to get them safely to and from more than 9,000 Texas schools every single day. In the grand scheme of things, waiting two or three minutes behind or near a school bus is really no big deal if it means ensuring the safety or life of a child.
While you might be familiar with these laws put into place to keep Texas students safe, unfortunately not everyone is as responsible or vigilant while driving near school zones. If you or a loved one has been injured in a school bus or school zone accident, we can help. Contact the accident attorneys at Liggett Law Group today for a free case evaluation and the help you deserve.