Motorists Reminded of School Zone, Bus Safety

August 13, 2019 Lufkin – Area schools will be opening their doors for the new school year this month and that means school zone signal lights will be activated and school buses will be rolling.

Motorists are urged to obey all school zones and traffic control while lights are activated.

“This is an important time of year for many area children, teachers and parents,” said Rhonda Oaks, public information officer. “Many drivers will be in a hurry especially that first day of school and we urge motorists to stay alert and slow down to the posted school zone speed.”

Motorists should remember that traffic fines double in active school zones and cell phone use is prohibited. Always stay alert for students crossing the roadway or in between vehicles and always deliver or pick up a student in the designated areas, not in or near a roadway.

Motorists should stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal. The driver may not proceed until the school bus resumes motion; the bus driver signals to proceed; or the visual signals are no longer activated. If a road is divided only by a turn lane, drivers on both sides of the roadway must stop for school buses while lights are activated. If travel lanes are separated by an intervening median or physical barrier, only motorists traveling in the same direction as the bus are required to stop.

Parents of students who walk or bike to school should also discuss safe practices with students prior to school beginning. Students should always cross at intersections and designated crosswalks; look for traffic when stepping from a bus; obey crossing guards; and wear a bike helmet when riding a bicycle.

“Students who cross an intersection or crosswalk should make a practice of making eye contact with the driver of a stopped or oncoming vehicle,” Oaks said. “Never take for granted a driver has seen you. Drivers can be distracted. School safety depends on all of us and we want all students and drivers to be safe.”

Shelby County First Days of School for 2019-2020:

  • Center Christian Academy - August 12th
  • Center ISD - August 14th
  • Excelsior ISD - August 26th
  • Joaquin ISD - August 14th
  • Shelbyville ISD - August 19th
  • Tenaha ISD - August 19th
  • Timpson ISD - August 21st