For Texas students, the most dangerous part of their journey to and from school is crossing the street to board a school bus or after exiting one. During the 2006-2007 school year, no students were killed during this critical part of their journey to and from school, but passing motorists pose the greatest danger to these students.
Texas state law requires drivers to stop for school buses that are stopped and have activated their alternating red flashing lights. Drivers should not proceed until the school bus resumes motion; the driver is signaled by the bus driver to proceed, or the visual signal is no longer activated. “Motorists who do not stop are endangering our most precious resource—our children,” said DPS Director Col. Thomas A. Davis Jr. “These reckless drivers will face fines of up to $1,000, plus court costs if they are convicted.” School Bus Safety Week runs from October 21-27 across the nation. This year’s safety week theme—“Stop on Red, Kids Ahead”—reminds drivers to obey the law regarding stopping for a school bus. 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. However, 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.
DPS is encouraging school districts across the state to plan special events to observe School Bus Safety Week, which also recognizes the hard work and dedication of school transportation professionals, especially school bus drivers, who ensure a safe journey for students every day. School buses remain one of the safest modes of transportation in Texas—38,000 school buses transport 1.5 million Texas children every school day.