Over the last week, school bus accidents have occurred in several states, hospitalizing and fatally injuring some children and their parents. These accidents have a common factor: students were outside of the bus when the accidents occurred. Students were either crossing the street to board a bus or waiting at a bus stop.
Even though the exact causes of these accidents continue to be under investigation, it is important for Texas drivers to understand state laws surrounding school bus loading and unloading:
Texas School Bus Laws
A motorist approaching a school bus from either direction is required to stop if the bus has red flashing lights or a stop-arm extended. It is illegal to pass a school bus unless its stop signals are no longer active, its driver motions a vehicle to pass or the bus starts moving again.
In Texas, motorists who are driving on a separate roadway are not required to stop for a school bus. In addition, on a controlled-access highway, motorists are not required to stop for a school bus that is stopped in a loading zone where pedestrians cannot lawfully cross the street.
Potential Penalties for Violating Texas School Bus Laws
You could receive a misdemeanor, fine of up to $1,250 and community service for violating this section of the Texas Transportation Code. Two violations could result in a larger fine or even license suspension for up to six months.
If a motorist violates these laws and causes serious bodily injury to a child or someone else, the violation will be treated as a Class A misdemeanor and could result in jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.
Need a Houston Auto Accident Lawyer?
If your child has been injured or killed in a traffic accident caused by the negligence of another driver, we recommend that you contact an auto accident attorney as soon as possible. The Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz III PC advocates for auto accident victims. We could help you understand your rights under Texas law, provide you with counsel and take some of the stress out of a tragic situation. Contact us today at (832) 225-4902 or fill out our online case evaluation form to schedule a free consultation.