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School Zone and School Bus Safety

School Zones

Be Safe. Drive Smart.

The end of summer means millions of Texas children will soon return to school. TxDOT reminds drivers to be extra cautious as school zones become more active, as well as to be aware of school bus safety.

In 2017, 811 vehicle crashes occurred in school zones in Texas, resulting in 2 deaths and 30 serious injuries. The most common causes of these crashes were entirely preventable: 1) failure to control speed, 2) driver inattention and 3) failure to yield right of way – private drive.

Following these simple tips can help Texas children reach school safely and help drivers avoid costly fines and tickets. We urge drivers to slow down, pay attention and follow traffic laws as the new school year begins. School bus drivers do everything they can to keep children safe, but we must all make an effort to drive safely around school buses. Parents and children walking to school should be alert at all times, and only cross the street at intersections and designated crosswalks.

Tips for Driving in School Zones

  • Remain alert at all times.
  • Put away your cellphone. Cellphone use is banned in active school zones and violators face fines of up to $200 in school zones where signs are posted.
  • Always obey school zone speed limit signs. Remember, traffic fines usually double in school zones.
  • Drop off and pick up your children in your school’s designated areas, not the middle of the street.
  • Keep an eye on children gathered at bus stops.
  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles on their way to school.
  • Obey all traffic rules, signs and signals.
  • As always, stay away from alcohol and/or drugs, including prescribed and over-the-counter medication which may impair driving. They impact your ability to remain alert and affect your decision-making, reflexes and reaction time.

School Bus Safety

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. More than one violation could result in Jail time!

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.

When do I have to stop for School Bus that is stopped with red lights flashing?

In the above depiction, the stopped school bus is the yellow vehicle with a white oval shape on top.


Texas law reference:  Texas Transportation Code § 545.066. (n.d.). Findlaw. Retrieved September 17, 2020, from