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Austin ISD Working To Reduce Bus Crashes

As I was working on a bus crash case, I received an article from the Austin American Statesman about the Austin ISD taking efforts to reduce bus wrecks.

I certainly applaud this effort.  The article notes that in the first five months of 2019, there have been 99 wrecks involving AISD school buses.  While most of these are minor, not all are.

I've seen these problems first hand both as a parent and as an attorney.  While my experience may be anecdotal, I don't see the biggest problems being that AISD drivers or buses.  I think the biggest problem is other drivers who refuse to yield the right of way when buses stop.

Section 545.066 of the Texas Transportation Code makes it an offense to pass a school bus is using its visual stop signal --- usually either a stop sign or flashing lights.

While I frequently see people stop behind the bus, too many motorists don't understand that this law applies to vehicles in all lanes of traffic.

If you're on a road with two or three lanes each way and a turn lane in the middle, you have to stop no matter what lane you're in and no matter what direction you're going.

The only real exception to this is when the roadway is separated by a barrier or a median.  In that case, if the bus is stopped on the other side of the road and there is a concrete barrier or a median between the lanes in your direction and the lanes going the direction of the bus, then the law doesn't apply to you.  But everyone else must stop.

These problems are both common and dangerous.  Kids are vulnerable, and failling to follow this law could easily lead to a fatality.

So while it's great AISD is looking to reduce bus accidents, other drivers need to do their part too.


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