Texas traffic rules to remember when driving near school buses, school zones

Kids are heading back to school, which means school buses will be on the roads and school zones will be enforced.

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, more than a million students in Texas depend on buses to get to and from school, and they depend on drivers to safely follow laws when driving near them.

TxDOT shares these reminders about Texas law regarding school buses and school zones:

School bus law in Texas

  • Drivers must stop for flashing red lights on a school bus, regardless of which direction you’re traveling.
  • Drivers can continue traveling once the bus has moved, the flashing lights stop flashing or the bus driver signals that it is okay to pass.
  • According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, approaching drivers do not have to stop for a school bus that is operating a visual signal only if the roadway is separated by a physical barrier. If a highway is divided only by a left-turning lane, the roadways are not considered separated, and drivers traveling in both directions must stop for the bus.
  • Violating the law can result in a $1,000 fine.

Safety tips for motorists

  • Obey the posted speed limit.
  • All drivers are prohibited from texting and using handheld devices while driving in school zones.
  • Fines double in school zones.
  • Watch out for children gathered at bus stops or for children who might dart across the street to catch the bus.

Safety tips for students:

  • Students should stand far back from the road when waiting for the bus.
  • Sit still while on the bus so the driver can pay attention to the road.
  • If you have to cross the street after getting off the bus, look both ways or wait for the driver to signal that it is safe to cross.