DPS offers tips and resources for new school year
AUSTIN, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) - The Texas Department of Public Safety issued reminders and resources for Texas drivers as the new school year begins.
Safety tips offered by the DPS include:
- Give students extra room and don’t assume they are paying attention to traffic. Students are frequently distracted by mobile devices or listening on electronic devices and may not be paying attention to their surroundings.
- Don’t block a crosswalk when stopped at a red light or stop sign.
- Follow the directions of the school crossing guards.
- Watch for children on bicycles traveling to and from schools.
- Reduce your speed when you spot a school bus and know children may unexpectedly step into the road without checking for oncoming traffic.
- Be careful around railroad crossings. School buses are legally required to stop at them.
- Know laws regarding school buses. According to Texas law, if a bus has alternating flashing red signals visible from the front or rear, drivers MUST stop before reaching the bus. Drivers can only proceed if the flashing lights are no longer activated, the driver signals you to proceed or the bus has resumed driving. Approaching drivers do NOT have to stop for a school bus that is operating a visual signal if the road is separated by a physical barrier or an intervening space. If a highway is only divided by a left-turn lane, it is not considered divided and drivers must stop for school buses.
- Drivers who illegally pass a school bus face fines up to $1,250 for the first offense. For people convicted of the offense more than once, the law allows for the person’s driver’s license to be suspended for up to six months. A ticket for this offense cannot be dismissed through defensive driving. Criminal charges are possible if a driver causes someone serious bodily injury.
- Always obey speed limits and traffic laws in school zones.
- Remember, texting while driving is illegal in Texas.
The Texas DPS also provided reminders to students, parents, teachers, and school administrators of safety tools this year such as:
The iWatchTexas program, a resource for reporting suspicious activity in schools and communities in order to prevent attacks. DPS urges everyone to download the app for free on IOS or Android devices.
The Texas School Safety Center, a part of Texas State University, offers valuable resources on school safety for parents and members of the school community. It’s designed to be a central location for research, training, and technical information for all school districts, charter schools, and community colleges in the state. The Texas School Safety Center has staff experienced in school safety and can provide technical assistance or training, conduct program evaluations, or offer resources to schools.
The Active School Shooter Alert System, implemented on September 1, 2021, the system is not school-specific but could be used in the event of a shooting at or near a school. The newly implemented alert system is designed to notify people in close proximity to an active shooter situation through cell phones, local broadcast media, and Texas Department of Transportation Dynamic Message Signs (DMS), to encourage people to avoid the area or shelter in place.
Copyright 2022 KCBD. All rights reserved. Information provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety.