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Traffic increases expected when students head back to school after holiday break

15 ABC
Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-05 18:40:00-05

MILAM COUNTY, Texas — Some Milam and Burleson County students are heading back to school as soon as Monday, and TxDOT is asking drivers to pay attention on the roads as traffic increases.

TxDOT encourages drivers to watch out for kids in crosswalks, stopped school buses and lower speed in school zones.

Bob Colwell says these tips can help drivers avoid fines and tickets since traffic patterns may have changed since last year.

"We always need to keep our head on a swivel whether it's the child or the parent, especially if we're the motorists because those children are anxious. They'll be glad to come back to school or not so glad and they're not always thinking so we want to make extra caution."

Below are more tips TxDOT shared with 15ABC:

Tips for Driving in School Zones 

  • Be aware that traffic patterns around schools may have changed since 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.
  • Stop and yield for people in crosswalks.
  • 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 stay 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 

  • Use sidewalks. If there’s not a sidewalk, walk on the left side of the street, facing traffic.
  • Cross the street only 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.