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Please Be Watchful of School Buses Starting Monday, August 24th - August 21, 2015
Submitted by Pete Low

Starting Monday, August 24th the buses will roll out of the Center I.S.D. Transportation Dept. to signal the beginning of the new school year. With this start of school the students will be excited about going to school so they can meet up with friends they have not seen all summer. They maybe will not be watching the other traffic in and around the bus stop areas. So the job of making sure they are safe will fall on the shoulders of every motorist. There are a few things that I would like to pass on to the citizens of Shelby Co. concerning the laws about bus safety.

It is the belief that our school buses carry a family’s most precious and irreplaceable cargo. We at Center I.S.D. want to do everything in our power to bring your students to and from their campuses as safely as possible. We also intend to make our campuses the safest learning environment possible for everyone involved. We ask that all parents and guardians help us by doing this by having conversations with your students concerning bus safety. There will be information sent home with each student that should be read and discussed with the students, so they will understand their roll in following the bus rules and procedures. Included is the Texas law concerning passing a School Bus.

The Texas Transportation Code sec. 545.066. Passing a School Bus; offense.

(a) An operator on a highway when approaching from either direction a school bus stopped on the highway to receive or discharge a student:

1. Shall stop before reaching the school bus when the bus is operating a visual signal as required by section 547.701; and
2. May not proceed until:

(A) The school bus resumes motion;
(B) The operator is signaled by the bus driver to proceed; or
(C) The visual signal is no longer actuated.

The code also goes on the say that the operator does not have to stop if the highway has separate roadways. A highway is considered separate if the roadway is separated by an intervening space on which operation of a vehicle is not permitted, a physical barrier, or clearly indicated dividing sections constructed to impede vehicular traffic; a highway is not separate if the highway is separated only by a left turn lane.

Passing a school bus while loading or unloading students is punishable by a fine of not less than $500.00 or more than $1250.00 for the first offense. Second or more offenses can result in a fine of not less than $1000.00 or more than $ 2000.00.

The officers of the Center I.S.D. Police Department will be following and monitoring the traffic in and around bus stops and the buses when out on their routes. It is our intention to stop and contact the operators that violate the law regarding passing a school bus.

So please help us keep your students safe and obey the traffic laws.

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