AUSTIN (KXAN) — As we gear up for the first day back in the classroom around Central Texas, let’s refresh on the state law when driving around school buses.
It is illegal to pass a school bus actively loading or unloading passengers. Passing on either side of the school bus can lead to a fine anywhere from $500 to more than $1,200 in Texas. Texas law says drivers must stop when a school bus extends its stop sign or turns on its flashing red lights.
If you see a bus is stopped, drivers traveling on either side of the road must hit the brakes, coming to a complete stop.
If the roadway is separated by a physical barrier — like a raised median for example — drivers do not have to stop for the school bus.
A roadway is not considered separated by left-turn lanes only, so drivers must stop for school buses in that case.
Drivers can only pass a school bus if the flashing lights are no longer activated, or if it has resumed driving.
When looking at the big picture, waiting a few minutes behind or near a school bus is no big deal if it means ensuring the safety or life of a student.