AUSTIN, Texas — For National School Bus Safety Week, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is urging drivers to comply with laws prohibiting the passing of school buses.
This week, Texas Highway Patrol troopers will be watching for drivers who violate the law and will take the appropriate enforcement action, according to DPS. Drivers who illegally pass school buses could face fines of up to $1,250.
In 2015 and year-to-date in 2016, Texas Highway Patrol troopers have issued 1,093 tickets for passing stopped school buses. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, failure to stop for a school bus was a contributing factor in 45 traffic crashes on Texas roadways last year.
"Any time a driver disregards a stopped school bus, they put children's lives in danger, and DPS will not tolerate individuals who ignore the law," DPS Director Steven McCraw said. "In order to help keep children safe, we urge drivers to always obey the law and remain alert when traveling near a school bus or bus stops where students gather."
During National School Bus Safety Week, troopers in many areas of Texas will be riding on or following school buses to catch motorists who break the law. Troopers will also be patrolling areas where school buses pick up and drop off students.
"The safety of our schoolchildren is always a priority at the Texas Education Agency,” said Mike Morath, Texas commissioner of education. “We appreciate the dedication by Texas Highway Patrol troopers during National School Bus Safety Week — and throughout the entire year — to help ensure our students have a safe trip to and from school."
According to the Texas Education Agency, more than 42,000 school buses transport about 1.5 million Texas children every school day.