The Austin Police Department has warned motorists to stop for school buses that are unloading or picking up children. Last year, more than 17,000 motorists were ticketed for passing stopped school buses. This is major increase from the 13,000 tickets that were issued during 2016.
Motorists are required by law to stop for school buses that are picking up or dropping off kids. School buses operated by Austin Independent School District (AISD) have stop-arms equipped with cameras. These cameras take photographs of drivers who fail to stop. Motorists who are caught by the stop-arm cameras receive $300 fines. The fine could increase to $1,250 if they caught by police officers.
According to AISD, stop-arm cameras have caught multiple near-misses where children were almost hit by vehicles. Since they were installed in 2016, the cameras have recorded six instances where children were struck by vehicles.
Children could be injured or killed when motorists speed past stopped school buses. The following tips from the Texas Department of Safety can help you improve the safety of children who are exiting or entering a school bus.
- Look for student pedestrians while you are driving through school zones.
- Reduce your speed and look for children who are gathering near bus stops.
- Keep an eye out for children who may dart into the street without looking both ways for traffic.
- Educate yourself on traffic laws regarding school buses in Texas.
In Texas, you are required to come to a complete stop if you are approaching a school bus with alternately flashing red lights from either direction. You cannot pass the bus until the lights stop flashing. In addition, the fines for distracted driving increase in school zones.
If your child was involved in a pedestrian accident, then you could speak with our Austin personal injury attorney to discover whether it would be possible to pursue compensation for injuries. For more information on what these options could be, please contact the Law Offices of Aaron Allison.