It’s that time of year again. School buses are going to start taking over Houston’s streets, and many drivers will fail to stop when necessary. As children begin to crowd the sidewalks, however, it’s important for all motorists across Texas to refresh their memories surrounding the school bus laws of the state. Knowing the law and driving safely around school buses could prevent injuries and even save the life of a child.
School Bus Traffic Laws in Texas
According to the Texas Transportation Code, any driver who approaches a school bus from either direction must stop their vehicle if the bus is displaying flashing red lights. Drivers must not overtake, or pass, a school bus until the bus has resumed motion, the red lights are no longer flashing, or the bus driver has indicated other drivers can proceed.
The penalty for violating this law is a fine of $1,000.
School Bus Safety for Drivers
While all drivers must stop for school buses in Texas, there are other safety precautions as well that will help keep everyone on the roads safer. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, drivers should always:
- Remember the speed limit: Drivers should always obey the posted speed limit. However, it’s important to remain particularly vigilant in school zones. These school zone speed limits are typically a maximum of 15 miles an hour, while even highways may have a maximum speed limit of 35 miles per hour.
- Remember the penalties: Another reason it’s important to obey the posted speed limit is that fines double in school zones. That means one ticket could cost a driver hundreds of dollars, depending on how fast they were going at the time.
- Pay attention to children at bus stops: Bus stops are often at the side of the road. It’s important to keep an eye on any kids on sidewalks and at the sides of roads. Always slow down and give children waiting plenty of room.
- Stay alert for kids darting into the street: A child may be late for the bus, or just excited when playing with friends, and dart out into the street in front of traffic. This is more commonly seen during the school year, particularly when children are waiting for the bus, or just getting off the bus. Watching for these children is of crucial importance.
This year, we hope that more motorists will keep these safety tips, and Texas law, in mind so everyone can be safer on the state’s roads.
Talk to a School Bus Accident Lawyer Now
School bus accidents are some of the worst, particularly because they often involve children. If you or your child has been in a crash involving a school bus, it’s important that you speak to a Houston bus accident attorney as soon as possible.
At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, we know how complex these claims are. They often involve a municipality, school board, and other parties. If you’ve been hurt, it’s important you don’t file these claims on your own. Contact us online for your free consultation to learn more about how we can help.