School zones across Texas will be activated and school buses will be on the road this morning as the new school year begins. The the Texas Department of Transportation, the Department of Public Safety and local law enforcement agencies want to remind motorists to leave a few minutes early to allow for extra time on your Monday morning commute. Like work zones, fines for speeding in school zones double when the school zone is active.
The law also prohibits the use of hand-held communications devices in active school zones. "The law requiring motorists to put the cell phone down in a school zone is still relatively new," said TxDOT spokesman Larry Krantz. "But there is zero tolerance for it as far as law enforcement is concerned. No phone call or similar distraction is worth a child's life."
Motorists traveling in both directions on a given roadway must stop when red lights flash on a school bus. Violations can lead to a $1,000 fine.
"At least one student is killed every year while waiting to get on, or just after getting off a school bus," Krantz said. "And in almost every case, it's because a motorist ignores the flashing red lights."