Houston drivers who are residents of Texas or drivers who are just passing through the state must take care to obey all traffic laws that apply. There are specific rules that relate to stopping for a school bus. These laws are in place to ensure that children are kept safe when they are boarding and exiting a bus.
There are times when the negligence of a Houston driver causes an accident. Victims of these accidents are able to file an auto accident claim in an attempt to collect compensation for any injuries that are sustained during a bus accident. It is important for victims to consult with a bus accident lawyer to ensure that an experience Houston legal professional in personal injury cases is on their side.
What the Law Says
Texas law states that anyone operating a motor vehicle is required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped for the purpose of letting students board or exit the vehicle. This will be indicated by a visual sign that states that drivers are required to stop.
Drivers are not allowed to move their vehicle until one of three situations has occurred.
- The school bus starts moving again
- The school bus driver has clearly motioned that a vehicle may proceed
- The sign indicating that drivers must stop is no longer displayed
This applies to a school bus that is travelling in either direction on the same road as the motor vehicle in question. However, regulations related to divided roads differ slightly.
Drivers generally do not have to stop for buses on the other side of a highway that contains separate roadways for traffic travelling in different directions. Drivers are also not required to stop for buses if there is a separate loading and unloading lane for these vehicles. If pedestrians are prohibited from crossing the roadway, drivers do not have to stop for buses.
It is important to understand that divided highways must have a physical barrier between the separate directions of traffic. A highway that is only divided by a turn lane is not considered to be divided.
How To Interpret the Law
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to properly interpret traffic laws. Drivers in Texas should understand all regulations related to stopping for a school bus before getting on the road. Here is an interpretation of the law that makes the rules clearer for drivers.
Some school buses only have red, flashing lights to indicate that drivers must stop. This counts as a visual sign. Most buses also use a sign to indicate that drivers are legally required to stop, but this is not always the case.
It is important for drivers to be aware that traffic travelling in both directions must stop. As mentioned above, drivers travelling in the opposite direction as the bus are only allowed to proceed if there is a physical barrier between the lanes. This means that all vehicles across all lanes of traffic must stop when a bus is present. If there is no barrier present, this even applies to highways with multiple lanes in each direction.
Getting Legal Help After a Bus Accident
People who are riding a bus during an accident or are in another vehicle that is hit by a bus have the right to seek compensation for any injuries sustained as a result of the accident. These accidents are typically handled by a lawyer specializing in auto accident personal injury claims. If you or a loved one have been injured in such an accident, it is important for you to contact a bus accident lawyer immediately following the incident. Legal professionals are able to help guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver.