First day of school for Austin students

The summer fun is over for more than 80,000 students in Austin as they head back for the first day of school. To ensure that kids are safe getting there, police will be out in full force looking for drivers who may be putting children in danger.

For the past few months drivers haven't been seeing those school buses or children walking to school but officials are reminding drivers to get back in the habit of looking out for them again.

Both Austin police and AISD police will be watching for violators in school zones as part of their Back To School Initiative.

Drivers are urged to use extra attention because some students may be going to different schools and not familiar with the area.

Officers will be looking for drivers speeding, passing stop bus arms and using cell phones while driving.

Last year police issued 300 speeding tickets in a school zone, eight for passing a bus, 14 for cell phone users and 93 for general electronic device use.

With the increase in pedestrians and bicyclists, tips for drivers include:

  • Slow down
  • Put down your cell phone
  • Be extra attentive of pedestrians and bicyclists
  • Obey stopped school zones, school buses and crossing guards
  • Buckle up
  • Give bicyclists at least three feet between them and your vehicle

Tips for bus riders include:

  • Remain in direct eyesight of the bus driver
  • Stay 10 giant steps away from curb
  • Never try to reboard bus without driver's permission
  • Never reach under the bus
  • Be alert and watch for traffic
  • Always cross in front of the bus and only when driver signals it's safe