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.
Last year, 625 vehicle crashes occurred in school zones in Texas, resulting in two deaths and 112 serious injuries. August and September of 2013 alone saw 104 crashes in school zones. The most common factors contributing to these crashes were driver inattention, failure to control speed and failure to yield the right-of-way at stop signs.
Following these simple tips can help Texas children reach school safely and help drivers avoid costly fines and tickets.
Tips for Driving in School Zones
- Put away your cell phone. Cell phone 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.
Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School
- Always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks. Look left, right and then left again before proceeding.
- Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars.
- Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street.
- Always obey crossing guards.
- Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.
Tips for Sharing the Road with School Buses
- Always stop for flashing red lights on a school bus, regardless of which direction you’re headed.
- If you are on the other side of a divided highway, you do not have to stop for a bus with flashing red lights, but please still use caution as children are around.
- School buses stop at all railroad crossings, so be prepared to stop if you are behind a bus.
- Watch for children who might run across the street as they get on or off the bus.
Visit http://www.txdot.gov/driver/kids-teens/school.html for campaign downloads and more information, and check us out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TxDOT
Don’t mess with Texas® means don’t litter.