Traffic Tip: Passing a school bus; offense

Aug. 18, 2012 at 3:18 a.m.

This week's traffic law is found in 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.

(b) An operator on a highway having separate roadways is not required to stop:

(1) For a school bus that is on a different roadway; or

(2) If on a controlled-access highway, for a school bus that is stopped:

(A) In a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to the highway; and

(B) Where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.

(c) An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 or more than $1,000, except that the offense is:

(1) a Class A misdemeanor if the person causes serious bodily injury to another; or

(2) a state jail felony if the person has been previously convicted under Subdivision (1).

(d) The court may order that the driver's license of a person convicted of a second or subsequent offense under this section be suspended for not longer than six months beginning on the date of conviction. In this subsection, "driver's license" has the meaning assigned by Chapter 521.

(e) For the purposes of this section:

(1) a highway is considered to have separate roadways only if the highway has roadways separated by an intervening space on which operation of vehicles is not permitted, a physical barrier, or a clearly indicated dividing section constructed to impede vehicular traffic; and

(2) a highway is not considered to have separate roadways if the highway has roadways separated only by a left turn lane.

Why the emphasis on this particular law?

With the new school year quickly approaching us, it is time we remind ourselves of the traffic laws regarding school buses as well as other school zone issues. I will address more laws regarding school zones and school buses over the next few weeks.

The Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit reminds you to drive safe. The life you save may be your own.

If you have a traffic law question, contact Senior Patrol Officer Zac De La Rosa, Victoria Police Department Traffic Safety Unit, 361-485-3700.



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