Some Texas troopers will be trailing school buses or on board to make sure other drivers use care near the vehicles hauling children to and from classes.
The Texas Department of Public Safety operation began Monday as part of National School Bus Safety Week. State education officials say more than 40,000 school buses transport 1.5 million Texas children every school day.
"The most dangerous portion a child's life going to school is getting on a school bus and getting off," DPS trooper Stephen Woodards said.
This week, troopers in the Houston area are getting on school buses and riding along as they look for law breakers. There will be one trooper on the bus and another following behind in a patrol car.
"The particular state trooper on the bus is observing the violation,” Woodard explained. “Once that trooper observes the violation, he informs the trooper on the ground and that's when the traffic stops happens.”
DPS urged drivers to obey state law by not passing any school bus that is stopped and operating a visual signal — either flashing red lights or a stop sign. Violators could face fines as much as $1,250.
Texas troopers during 2012 issued 449 tickets for passing a stopped school bus. State transportation officials say 840 traffic accidents last year involved buses.