Back 2 School: Rules of the road

Tips for drivers as the school year starts

As kids head back to school, drivers should keep a watchful eye for children at bus stops or darting across the street.

Cell phone use is banned in school zones where signs are posted and can hold a hefty fine. Always obey the school zone speed limit signs, too, because those can also be double the normal cost.

The area ten feet around a school bus is where children are in the most danger of being hit. Remember, if a bus is stopped with its sign out, you can’t pass on either side unless there is a median between you and the bus.

The fine for passing a stopped school bus with its stop sign out is $1250 and a second offense could suspend your license.

Watch out for kids coming out of their driveway on bikes and look twice before you open your car door.

When school zone flashers are blinking you must let pedestrians cross if they are in a crosswalk or intersection. They have the right of way. Always follow what the crossing guard is saying.

In Houston last year there were 42 vehicle crashes in school zones, luckily with no fatalities and only three serious injuries, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Most crashes were caused by driver inattention, speeding or failure to yield the right of way.

Keep those eyes open as you drive this school year.