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South Texas

National School Bus Safety Week

This week marks National School Bus Safety Week and the Department of Public Safety troopers will be our in full force, patrolling during school hours. As always, drivers should make sure that they obey the rules of the road when it comes to buses.

Today’s school buses are tougher and better maintained than ever before. Bus drivers receive special training in safety, security, and medical procedures; undergo regular drug and alcohol testing; and receive regular driving record checks. School bus riders are safer than passengers in regular motor vehicles when traveling to and from school. A bus’s size, structure, and safety features provide superior occupant protection. Students riding in or driving passenger vehicles are the most frequent victims of motor vehicle fatalities during school travel hours. Nearly 500 students 5 to 18 years old die each year in passenger vehicles during school travel hours.

School bus traffic laws designed to protect students are strictly enforced. But, there are other ways children get to school, including riding bikes, walking to school, getting dropped off by parents, driving themselves, or riding with friends. About 100 children 5 to 18 years old are killed while walking or biking during school travel each year. Whether a student is riding a school bus or traveling to school via another method, every child deserves our attention and commitment to safety.

Texas School Bus Law

More than a million children and teens depend on buses to get them safely to and from the more than 9,000 Texas schools every day.

Motorists Should Take Care To:

  1. Stop for flashing red lights on a school bus, regardless of which direction you’re headed.
  2. Continue your trip once the bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing or the bus driver signals it’s okay to pass.
  3. Obey the posted speed limit.
  4. Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
  5. Watch for children who might dart across the street to catch the bus.

It’s not uncommon for children’s school bus-related injuries to be caused by other drivers just not following the rules. Numerous children are hurt each year when drivers fail to stop or try to pass a school bus while children are crossing the street to get on the bus or after exiting the bus.

School bus accidents can involve:

  • Children run over by school buses
  • Children dropped off at the wrong bus stop
  • Children sexually abused by bus drivers
  • Bus drivers driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Bus drivers who failed to check the bus for occupants at the end of the route
  • Transportation companies that failed to properly screen or train bus drivers
  • Transportation companies that failed to inspect and maintain buses
  • School districts that failed to take proper precautions to protect students

The National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) holds a poster contest where thousands of school districts in over 40 states will compete to promote safer school transportation for everyone.