Starting Wednesday, August 14th, the buses will roll out of the Center I.S.D. Transportation Department to signal the beginning of the new school year. It is our 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 ask that all parents and guardians help us do 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 students so they will understand their roles in following the bus rules and procedures.
Another area of concern this year will be the construction efforts at several of our campuses. F.L. Moffett and Center HIgh School are currently undergoing construction. Center I.S.D. officers will be out helping to control the flow of traffic in these areas. We ask that you please pay careful attention to the officers and their directions. Please be patient and mindful of the new direction of traffic at both campuses. Mrs. Hughes, Principal at F.L. Moffett, will be mailing letters home to registered students regarding student drop off and pick up at that campus.
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 may 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.
According to the Texas Transportation Code sec. 545.066, concerning passing a school bus--
When a motorist approaches (from either direction) a school bus that is stopped on the highway to receive or discharge a student,
It is required to stop before reaching the school bus when the bus is operating a visual signal as required by section 547.701; and
2. The motorist 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 state that the operator does not have to stop if the highway has separate roadways, such as a roadway that is separated by an intervening space on which operation of a vehicle is not permitted (such as a median), a physical barrier, or clearly indicated dividing sections constructed to impede vehicular traffic. A highway is not considered 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. Additional offenses can result in a fine of not less than $1000.00 or more than $ 2000.00.
Officers from the Department of Public Safety, local law enforcement, and 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 issue citations to motorists that violate the law regarding passing a school bus.
We look forward to the upcoming school year and thank the community for its help in keeping Center I.S.D. students and buses safe on the roads.
Chief Pete Low
Center I.S.D. Police Department
936-598-6173, ext. 2213