School Bus Safety

November 4, 2013

School Bus Safety Alert!

 

Attention all River Place drivers!  Are you aware that the most dangerous job for a school bus driver is not monitoring students’ behavior on the bus, but that of loading and unloading his or her student passengers?  Are you also aware that as September 1, 2013, the state of Texas has increased the penalties for any driver caught in the act of passing a school bus with lights flashing and its stop arm extended?  HB 1174 amends current statute to increase the fines for this misdemeanor offense. The new law increases the minimum fine from $200 to $500 and the maximum fine from $1,000 to $1,250. The legislation also raises the penalty for a second or subsequent conviction of that offense committed within five years to a misdemeanor punishable by a minimum fine of $1,000 and a maximum fine of $2,000.

Recently, several incidences of drivers ignoring the flashing lights and the swinging stop arms of school buses loading students have been observed on Big View Drive during the morning commuting hours and have been reported to the Travis County Sheriff’s office.  As a result, a patrol car will be dispatched to River Place in the coming days to monitor the situation and ticket when an violation is observed.

In light of this serious safety concern, it is therefore imperative for River Place drivers to exercise extreme caution when approaching a stopped school bus from either direction on our streets in compliance with state law.  After all, it only takes a moment of inattention to change a driver’s life and that of a child forever.  I think all of us would agree that a fine is a small price to pay to educate drivers about the importance of safeguarding our school buses’ most precious cargo, our children!