DPS troopers, game wardens taking part in school bus safety campaign

Law officers cracking down on drivers ignoring school bus lights, signs

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Drivers who ignore the stop signs and flashing red lights on school buses may see some lights in their rearview mirrors.

Troopers with the Texas Department of Public Safety are teaming up with other state agents, including game wardens, to crack down on violators. 

The campaign is part of National School Bus Safety Week, which runs through Friday.

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"We're going to have officers out on a lot of these bus routes and, hopefully, the public will see these officers and it will refresh their memory,” said Sgt. Deon Cockrell, with the DPS.

Cockrell said some officers will be riding school buses throughout the region, while others will be following them, looking for violators.

It’s a reminder that appears to be needed.

Troopers have issued 1,100 citations and 573 warnings for this type of offense between 2016 and the present date.

Drivers who get caught could have to pay dearly. A ticket for breaking the law can cost more than $1,200.

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"People are just, generally, in a hurry or they're not paying attention,” Cockrell said. "When those red lights come out and you pass a school bus, not only have you endangered the children, but you've violated the law."

During an outing Tuesday morning, troopers found a prime example -- a woman, who, ironically, was rushing to school herself and drove right past a stopped bus.

She was let go with a warning.

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"We do have children that are getting on these buses and we do need to stay vigilant for the children," Cockrell said.

Although the campaign lasts for only a week, the hope is that drivers will remember the rules for a long time to come.

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