As millions of Texas children head back to school, the Texas Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to stay focused and drive safe in and around school zones and bus stops. This includes adhering to a new Texas law that requires drivers to stop and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Everyone has a responsibility to keep children safe on their way to and from school. TxDOT offers these safety tips for drivers, parents and students:
Tips for Driving in School Zones
- · Be aware that traffic patterns around schools may have changed since the last school year.
- · Stay alert and put your phone away. Using a handheld electronic device while driving in an active school zone is against the law.
- · Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines increase in school zones.
- · Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.
- · Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
- · Watch for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles.
Tips for Drivers Sharing the Road with School Buses
- · Follow at a safe distance, keeping in mind that school buses make frequent stops.
- · Always remain alert for children around buses and remember that they may not always look for vehicles before crossing the street.
- · Stop for flashing red lights or a stop sign on a school bus, regardless of which direction you’re headed. Continue your trip once the bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing or the bus driver signals it’s okay to pass.
- · Violations can lead to a fine of up to $1,250 for a first offense.
Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School
- · Always use sidewalks. If there’s not a sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street facing traffic.
- · Cross the street at intersections or marked crosswalks. Look left, right and left again before proceeding.
- · Always obey crossing guards.
- · Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Never assume a driver sees you.
- · Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked vehicles.
- · Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
- · Don’t be distracted by electronic devices that take your eyes and ears off the road.
- · Follow all traffic rules, signs and signals.
“Be Safe. Drive Smart.” is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel to help end the streak of daily deaths. Nov. 7, 2000, was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at MediaRelations@txdot.gov or (512) 463-8700.