In January, according to an article from the Statesman, many Austin school buses were outfitted with stop-arm cameras designed to catch drivers who pass illegally and jeopardize the safety of children getting on and off the bus. In the first month of operation, these cameras caught more than 1,000 drivers illegally passing school buses.
While the city offered a 30-day grace period, police officers are now reviewing camera information and sending out traffic tickets.
What To Do When Approaching A Stopped School Bus
Texas law requires that drivers approaching a stopped school bus must stop if the bus has its stop arm extended or its lights flashing. This requirement applies to drivers approaching the bus from either direction. The exception to the rule is that drivers may continue if they are going in the opposite direction and there is a median.
The primary objective of this law is to protect small children who may be crossing the street as they get on or off the school bus. This law has been in effect for many years, but as the camera information reveals, many drivers are either not aware of it or simply choose to violate the rule and jeopardize the safety of children.
Drivers who violate the rule are subject to a $300 traffic ticket. If a child is injured by a driver who illegally passes a school bus, parents may pursue a personal injury claim to recover compensation for medical bills and other costs associated with the child’s injury.
At the law office of Leonard B. Gabbay, P.C., we encourage everyone to obey the law and drive safely for the sake of Austin’s kids and everyone else on the road. When pedestrian accidents do happen, we are prepared to stand up for the rights of the victim.