AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) recently released information about school bus safety throughout the state during National School Bus Safety Week, which lasts through Friday (Oct. 22).
According to a news release from the organization, Texas DPS officials are giving tips for children riding the bus to school as well as drivers on the road who encounter school buses.
“School buses are the safest mode of travel for children to get to school, and drivers need to do simple but crucial things, such as not passing a school bus or paying attention when they see a bus, to keep it that way,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said in the release. “By not speeding around school buses and always looking for children, you just may save a life.”
For children, and parents taking the children to the bus stop, the DPS offers the following school bus safety tips:
- Children should limit what they carry and stick to what fits in their backpacks. This lessens the chance of dropping things in the road on the way to the bus stop;
- Children should be at the bus stop five minutes early so they are not making dangerous choices to reach the bus in time;
- Parents should walk children to the bus stop if possible. If not, encourage them to walk to the bus stop with other children so they are more visible to drivers;
- When a child is getting off the bus and needs to cross the street, they should not assume that traffic will stop for them because the bus has its stop arm out and their lights are flashing. They should look both ways before crossing;
- When children walk in front of the bus, they should stay about 10 feet away from the hood of the bus to make sure the driver can see them.
The Texas DPS also offered the following safety tips for drivers who encounter school buses on the road:
- Drivers should give school buses plenty of room on the road becuase they stop frequently;
- Drivers should reduce their speed when they see a school bus, knowing that children may step into the road without cheking for traffic;
- Drivers must stop if a bus has flashing lights and its stop sign out, regardless of which way a bus is headed;
- It is illegal for a driver to pass a stopped school bus and it may result in a fine of up to $1,250 for a first offense. For indivduals who are convicted of the offense more than once, the law allows for that individual’s driver’s license to be suspended for up to six months.
For more information about school bus safety, visit the Texas DPS website.