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Safety reminders as Coastal Bend students start school | #schoolsaftey

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Texas Department of Public Safety ask drivers to be more alert on the road as students across the Coastal Bend return to school. 

“The red lights on the stop arm start coming out, then all motorists are required to stop until those visual signals have ceased,” said Rob Mallory, Safety Education & Media Communications Sergeant for the Texas DPS Corpus Christi District.

Texas DPS has more troopers around school zones and school buses as kids return to class. Sgt. Mallory said they are looking for people who don’t slow down in those zones and don’t stop for buses when it’s required.

“The general rule is traffic traveling in both directions is required to stop for a school bus that’s displaying those visual signals—the red flashing flights,” Sgt. Mallory said. “The only exception is if there is a divided highway.”

Cars coming from the opposite direction do not have to stop if separated by a concrete barrier or grass median, however they are still encouraged to slow down.

Sgt. Mallory told 3NEWS that more people are pulled over when school resumes since people are not paying attention, but it usually improves over time. He said avoiding distractions behind the wheel is also important to keep kids safe.

“Putting those cell phones down and watching the road, being extra alert these next couple weeks is critical to make sure that our kids and ourselves remain safe on the roads,” Sgt. Mallory explained.

If drivers do not stop for a school bus with visual signals, they could face fines up to $1,250. A second violation could be a fine up to $2,000 and a driver license suspension.

DPS encourages parents and students to wear seatbelts on buses.

“Slow down, plan ahead, give themselves a little bit of extra time to get where they’re going because we know children are going to be out going back to school,” Sgt. Mallory said.

Sgt. Mallory also stressed the importance of safety inside schools, encouraging people to download the iWatchTexas mobile app. The program allows people to confidentially report potential threats in and around schools or their community via the website or app. You can also call 844-643-2251.

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