BACK TO SCHOOL: Bus drivers urging safety precautions

LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) - DPS is reminding drivers not to pass school buses when the red lights flash and the stop sign comes out. It's illegal to pass from the oncoming lane if there is no barrier or median present.

"A turning lane is not an equivalent to either one of those," Sergeant Jean Dark said.

Pine Tree's director of transportation says people not following the laws is a prevalent problem, saying he hears scary incidents from his drivers almost every day.

"It doesn't take but just one incident to humble an entire community," Transportation Director Jack Irvin said. "It's nonsense that someone could get hurt all because someone illegally ran the lights of a school bus."

Mr. Irvin wants to stress why these laws are in place.

"We have to look out for them. So in our school zones, roadways adjacent to our school zones, please slow down and be aware we've got a lot of kids out there."

He says safety is their number one concern and buses are built to be the safest form of transportation for students.

"Our buses are designed to actually absorb any impact," Mr. Irvin explained. "That's what these black lines are for. What these rails do is they actually distribute the load of the impact through the entire side of the bus instead of just the crash point."

Mr. Irvin says Longview PD does a great job enforcing the laws of bus safety. He says his department has great communication with law enforcement and hopes to spread the message of safety first this school year.

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