The calendar has turned over to August which means that getting your kids ready to head back to school is the priority. In just a couple of weeks, the school bell will once again ring across the cities of Jacksonville, Texas, Tyler, Lindale, Athens and all over East Texas. With the bell ringing brings school buses back into our morning and afternoon commutes. So now is the perfect time to refresh ourselves with the school bus and school zone laws.

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It is the Law to Yield to School Buses

We get it, it can be frustrating to get stuck behind a school bus when we're running late for work. But remember, those buses are transporting children. Those buses will constantly be stopping to pick up or drop off children. So either adjust your schedule so your commute is outside of the time the buses normally run or find an alternate route. No matter how much of a hurry you're in, you MUST follow the law when it involves school buses with their lights flashing. Also remember, most school buses are equipped with cameras. If you think you won't be seen going around a stopped school bus with its lights on, you will and could face some penalties if you do.

What am I supposed to do when behind or in front of a school bus?

This graphic is exactly how you are supposed to react:

Pflugerville Police Department via Facebook
Pflugerville Police Department via Facebook

You will be fined if caught violating school bus laws

There are several penalties to be aware of if you do not follow the rules regarding a school bus:

  • Speeding in a school zone can be $220 or more
  • Caught using your cell phone in a school zone can be up to $200
  • Failing to yield behind or in front of a school bus is $500 but up to $1,250

You could also face having your driver's license revoked for up to six months if caught violating school bus laws on multiple occasions. More important than the fines involved, however, is that you are putting the lives of children getting on or off the school bus in danger.

But "I'm Late for Work" or "I Can't Stand Driving So Slow"

Tough luck dude and dudette. When the school bus is stopped with its red lights flashing or the school zones lights are flashing yellow, you must stop and you must slow down to the posted speed limit. Put away your phone, pay attention to your surroundings, follow the speed limit and be a courteous driver. Its not very hard to do. Especially now that kids will be heading back to school in the coming weeks across East Texas.

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