HOUSTON — You’re going to start seeing a whole lot more school buses on the road as districts start back up over the next couple of weeks, so you better know when you do and when you don’t have to stop for them.
First, let’s make this clear. It’s bad news to pass a school bus when it’s actively loading or unloading passengers. Here in Texas, you’ll face a fine up to $1,250 for the first offense. If you’re caught doing it twice, you can lose your license.
If you’re driving on a two-lane road with no median and a bus turns on its flashing lights, you must stop -- no matter which direction you’re headed.
If the road you’re traveling has a center turning lane between lanes of traffic, same thing. Everyone stops once those flashing lights come on.
Even when the road has four lanes, all traffic must stop for the school bus when its lights are flashing.
The only time you can keep driving is when there’s a median dividing the lanes. In this case, only the cars traveling the same direction as the bus need to stop.
The goal here is to keep kids safe on their way to and from school. In the scheme of things, a few minutes waiting is a small price to pay.