What are the laws in Texas about interacting with school buses? That is the question we discuss on this episode of San Antonio's go-to personal injury law firm podcast. Join us to learn more.
Personal Injury Attorney Justin Hill: Welcome to Hill Law Firm cases, a podcast discussing real-world cases handled by Justin Hill and the Hill Law Firm. For confidentiality reasons, names and amounts of any settlements have been removed. However, the facts are real. These are the cases we handle on a day to day basis.
Welcome to this episode of Hill Law Firm cases where we're going to be talking about school bus safety in the state of Texas and in San Antonio. One of the things about our law firm is we are a safety advocacy law firm as well as a personal injury plaintiffs law firm. It's very important for us that what we do makes our community safer, and specifically, what we do make San Antonio safer city for everybody to live in. I always joke with people that I wish we got put out of business by everybody following the laws, by products being made safer, and by people doing what they're supposed to do.
I hope we don't get put out of business by political changes in which our legislators and insurance companies try to protect and shield insurance companies and corporations from any liability when they do wrong. One of the things I like to talk about is, in a case, usually there's some standard by which people have violated that led to somebody being injured. For example, if somebody is on their phone or drunk, and they cause a crash, they violated that law and that safety standard about drinking and driving, or texting and driving and caused a crash. In that example, San Antonio is one of the worst cities in the state of Texas in the United States for drinking and driving. These are issues that if people would follow the law, and do correctly, I wouldn't get those types of cases, and that would be great for everybody in our city, our state, and it will make our community safer.
One of the things I want to talk about today is school bus safety. We all have been stuck behind a school bus before, we've probably all hated that experience, especially if you're stuck behind a school bus that stopping over, and over, and over, and you can't get around it. I remember growing up, I lived out in a rural area, and we'd be stuck behind buses for a long time on our way home.
That was part of it and I actually rear-ended the school bus as a kid, so I'm glad that people follow the laws when they do because I was one of those kids that could have been injured. [clears throat] The State of Texas has laws on how we are supposed to interact with and treat school buses when they're on the road. Some of the laws involve all drivers must stop for flashing red lights on a school bus regardless which direction you're traveling.
We've all seen a school bus start to slow, and the yellow lights on the back of it start flashing, and then they turn red. The law on that is that they're essentially the same as a stop sign, that no matter which side of the road you're on, whether behind it or fixing to pass it, you're required by Texas law to stop. The reasons for this are pretty obvious, kids exiting and entering a bus might dart across the road or step out when a vehicle is trying to pass.
If you're old enough to drive, you've probably got better judgment, hopefully, then, a six-year-old who's running across the street and just wants to get home, or just wants to get on the bus. If you see the red lights, come to a complete stop. Another thing about school bus safety is that you're allowed to continue your trip once the bus has moved, and the flashing lights have stopped flashing, or if the school bus driver lets you pass. You can end up passing the bus if you need to, you just can't do it with its lights flashing.
The fines in Texas for this type of bad behavior can lead to $1,000 fines in the state of Texas. Some of the things we should consider with school buses is, obey the posted speed limit. That if you're in a school zone, the fines could double. Keep an eye out for children standing around on the side of the road waiting for their bus. Maybe there's not a bus there, but you've got children standing on the side of the road, and who knows? They could be playing, and fall into the road or get too close, so pay attention to them.
Also, if you see kids, or it's the time of day where you'll see kids getting ready to get on the bus, remember that they might run and run across the street trying to catch their bus, so be careful and pay attention. One of the things I remember about our time around the bus was we got rear-ended one time when we were on the bus. I remember it, you couldn't even barely feel it when you were on the bus. A practical consideration for drivers out there is you do not want to run into a bus.
They're built like tanks and they're built that way to protect our kids, and make sure that they get to school safely. Be careful with buses. No matter how big of a hurry you are in, it's not worth endangering the lives or livelihood of children getting on that bus. It's probably not worth a thousand dollar or $2,000 fine, that you could be hit with if you violate those laws. If you've been injured or your child has been injured by somebody failing to obey the laws of Texas or the laws of San Antonio regarding school bus safety, give us a call.
We have handled many cases involving children injured in school zones, or school crosswalks. It's an egregious example of people not paying attention and not following the law when we all know you're supposed to be careful in school zones or around school buses. If you have questions, call the Hill Law Firm.