With schools going back into session this month, student safety is on top of many parents’ and teachers’ minds, especially in regards to transportation. While many children ride the bus to school each morning, it’s important to remember accidents can and do happen. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is cautioning Texans to slow down within school zones and to be aware of children walking to and from school buses in the mornings and afternoons.
Motorists should be extra alert when driving in the presence of school buses, as they often make frequent stops to allow children to get on and off along their route. Drivers should also adhere to traffic laws unique to school zones and school buses. DPS Director Steven McCraw stated that, “motorists who disregard the law and illegally pass stopped school buses put our schoolchildren in harm’s way—and that reckless and irresponsible behavior will not be tolerated by DPS.” Commuters should be well aware the start of the school year means more traffic in most areas, and have a plan in mind to take extra precautions.
State law requires motorists stop when a bus is stopped and operating a signal—red flashing lights or a stop sign. Drivers are not supposed to continue on their routes until the school bus resumes motion. Approaching cars don’t have to stop for a school bus operating a visual signal if the roadway is separated by a physical barrier or intervening space.
When students enter and exit a school bus can be the most dangerous times during a child’s trip. With this in mind, DPS has also reminded motorists to be aware children may not look both ways when crossing the street after getting off the bus and to be alert.
Drivers who illegally pass school buses can face fines of up to $1,250 for a first offense. Repeat offenders can have their licenses suspended for up to six months, and receiving a ticket for illegally passing a school bus cannot be dismissed through defensive driving. Additionally, in the event a school bus is illegally passed and an injury does occur, criminal charges could be included.
Lubbock, Texas School Bus Accidents Lawyers
Any injury involving a loved one can be devastating, but a serious injury to a child can be especially traumatic. If your child has been involved in a school bus accident, contact the Lubbock school bus accident lawyers at Liggett Law Group for help with your case.