DPS increases enforcement during National School Bus Safety Week - KXXV Central Texas News Now

DPS increases enforcement during National School Bus Safety Week

Source: KXXV Source: KXXV

The Department of Public Safety is increasing its enforcement around schools during the week of Oct. 17, which is National School Bus Safety Week.

Additional troopers will be watching for drivers who pass any school bus that is stopped and showing a visual sign, such as flashing red lights or a stop sign.

"They'll see the school bus slowing down and they speed up trying to get around the school bus, but the bus stops quick and the child inherently may run in front of the school bus back across his house and the car is going too fast and they get the child so we don't want that to happen," Department of Public Safety Spokesman Sgt. D.L. Wilson said.

Troopers are expected to be at school districts in rural areas, such as Axtell, China Spring, Hallsburg, Lorena, Marlin and McGregor.

“We don't want kids to get hurt. Children come first. Make sure to take your time. Leave early if you need to, but when that bus activates those lights and they stop, don't go around that bus because it could be a child's life in danger,” Wilson added. 

From 2015 until 2016, DPS issued 1,093 tickets for passing a stopped school bus. Last year, failure to stop for a school bus was a contributing factor in 45 traffic crashes in Texas, according to DPS.

Wilson said troopers have already cited drivers since the enforcement started on Monday.  Drivers could receive a citation, which is a Class C misdemeanor and could face up to a $1,250 fine.

“We don't want anyone to come into your pocketbook like that, but we want to protect our children,” Wilson said.

According to DPS, if a road is divided only by a left-turning lane, drivers on both sides of the road must stop. However, if the lanes are separated by a physical barrier, only drivers going on the same direction must stop.

The increased enforcement will last until Friday, but Wilson said they conduct school bus safety enforcement throughout the year.

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