MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is cutting down on drivers disregarding school bus safety. All week, patrol units followed buses with busy routes.
Troopers organized with bus drivers who see several violations daily while on their routes. DPS said the biggest safety concern is in the morning when its dark and drivers are in a hurry.
When the school bus arm is extended in a divided roadway, drivers traveling in both directions must stop. State troopers are looking for the drivers that aren't stopping.
"Some people are just in a hurry," said Trooper Andy Nunez. "It's early in the morning, they just want to get to work, they may be running late or they have something going on that they're just in a rush."
One trooper is on the bus while another trooper drives behind the bus, the trooper on the bus communicates any violations they see. The trooper then makes a traffic stop.
"We've been having a lot of problems with vehicles passing the bus, almost hitting children as they're getting off the bus and crossing the street," said Nunez.
Nunez said they haven't seen any children get hurt but shares the story of a little girl that almost did.
"This little girl always runs when she gets on or off the bus when she goes home," said Nunez. "This one day, she decided to walk and as she was walking a car zoomed by and just passed the bus. If she had ran she would have gotten hit."
From 2015 through 2016, Texas DPS has given out 1,093 tickets for passing a stopped school bus. These fines can be as much as $1,250.