School is back in session. The excitement of starting a new year and the kids getting back together with friends also brings traffic congestion and safety challenges for our kids.

It is very important for drivers to remember to slow down, stay off the cell phone, and pay attention when driving in and around school zones.

Please remember to stop for the school buses when they are picking up or dropping off the kids. According to the National Safety Council, most fatal traffic incidents for students between the ages of 4 to 7 years old happen while they are walking. So be extra careful when approaching and eventually passing a school bus. Remember to check for students when approaching school crossing zones or other vehicles stopped for pedestrians.

According to the Texas Department of Safety, a driver traveling in either direction must stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal. If the road is divided by a left-turning lane only, drivers in both directions must stop for school buses with activated visual flashing red signals. If the roadway is separated by a physical barrier, only the drivers traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop (Texas Transportation Code § 545.066, https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TN/htm/TN.545.htm#545.066).

Let’s all have a safe and fun school year.