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Be on the Lookout for School Children, School Buses

School children across the state will head back to school soon. The Texas Department of Public Safety reminds all drivers to watch out for children walking to school or waiting for school buses--and to obey all traffic laws related to school buses.

Drivers also need to slow down and pay attention in school zones. Children may not be looking for oncoming traffic when they step into the roadway, so drivers must remain alert.

“Although school buses are the safest form of transportation for students, the most dangerous time of the journey is when children are entering and exiting the bus,” said Col. Thomas A. Davis, Jr., director of the DPS. “When a school bus is loading or unloading students, the law requires that drivers stop on most roadways.”

State law requirements
State law requires approaching drivers to stop when a school bus is stopped and operating a visual signal (red flashing lights or a stop sign). Drivers should not proceed until the school bus resumes motion; the driver is signaled by the bus driver to proceed; or the visual signal is no longer activated. A driver does not have to stop for a school bus if it is on a highway with roadways separated by an intervening space or physical barrier. (If a highway is divided only by a left-turning lane, the roadways are not separated, and drivers must stop for school buses.)

Punishment for drivers who do not stop
Drivers who do not stop for school buses face a fine of up to $1,000. If a driver is convicted of this offense more than one time, DPS can suspend their license for up to six months.

“DPS has zero tolerance for vehicles that pass stopped school buses,” Davis said. “Drivers must slow down, obey school zone speed limits and stop for school buses to ensure the safety of Texas school children.”


More than a million children and teens depend on buses to get them safely to and from the more than 9,000 Texas schools every day. They also depend on motorists to know the law and drive safely around school buses.

Texas School Bus Law

  • Stop for flashing red lights on a school bus, regardless of which direction you're headed.
  • Continue your trip 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 $1,000 fine.

Safety Tips for Motorists

  • Obey the posted speed limit.
  • Fines double in school zones.
  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
  • Watch for children who might dart across the street to catch the bus.


Tips for Students

Respect your school bus driver and follow these rules:

  • Stand far back when you are waiting for the bus.
  • Sit still so the driver can pay attention to the road.
  • Look both ways if you have to cross the street after getting off the bus, or wait for the driver to signal it's safe to cross the street.

Need More Information?

Call (512) 416-3175 for more information.



Paris Transportation


Joseph Justiss
Transportation Coordinator

Nikki Burchinal
Transportation Secretary

ph: 903-737-7489

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