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School bus drivers do everything they can to keep children safe, but motorists and parents are also responsible for driving safely around school buses.

Here are some tips from TxDOT to help prevent tragedy as schools open for the new year…

Tips for drivers sharing the road with school buses

  • Follow at a safe distance, keeping in mind that school buses make frequent stops.
  • Always remain 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 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.

Parents and caregivers can also prepare their children to be safe around school buses by sharing the tips for students listed below.

 Tips for students

  • Stand as far back from the curb as possible when you are waiting for a bus
  • Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop and watch for the driver to signal that it’s safe to board. Hold on to the handrail and find a seat quickly
  • Listen to the bus driver and sit still to avoid distracting the driver
  • After exiting the bus, cross only in front of the bus, never behind it. Make eye contact with the driver and wait for the driver’s signal that it is okay to cross. Look left-right-left and safely cross when there is no traffic or vehicles that have stopped.