**OFFICIAL RELEASE BY THE GRIMES COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE**
POSTED: Friday, November 2nd 2018 @ 1:28 PM
RE: Public Notice from Grimes County District Attorney Andria Bender in regards to bus safety.
On today’s date, Grimes County District Attorney Andria Bender issued a public notice in regards to bus safety which is indicated below:
Since the beginning of the current school year, the Grimes County District Attorney’s Office has received a number of reports (from local school district officials and law enforcement officers) that there have been an increased number of incidents where vehicles are failing to stop for school buses while picking up and dropping off school children. In some incidents, vehicles have gone so far as to pass on the right side of the school bus while riders were offloading the bus. This behavior is unacceptable and illegal.
Effective today, I am asking local law enforcement officers to take a zero tolerance approach for violators of this crime. Based on the facts of each incident, violators will receive a citation for Failure to Stop for a Stopped School Bus (Class C misdemeanor) or be arrested for either Reckless Driving (Class B misdemeanor) or Endangering a Child (State Jail Felony). The citation carries a minimum $500 fine for a first offense.
Passing a school bus on the right side while a child is loading or unloading will almost certainly result in an arrest.
I do not want to see a child seriously injured or killed because someone fails to stop for a school bus, like I have recently seen in other jurisdictions. In Grimes County, this conduct will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted!
Grimes County District Attorney
The law regarding stopping for school posted is listed below for your reference:
Texas Transportation Code 545.066:
(a) An operator on a highway, when approaching from either direction a school bus stopped on the highway to receive or discharge a student:
(1) shall stop before reaching the school bus when the bus is operating a visual signal as required by Section 547.701; and
(2) may not proceed until:
(A) the school bus resumes motion;
(B) the operator is signaled by the bus driver to proceed; or
(C) the visual signal is no longer actuated.
(b) An operator on a highway having separate roadways is not required to stop:
(1) for a school bus that is on a different roadway; or
(2) if on a controlled-access highway, for a school bus that is stopped:
(A) in a loading zone that is a part of or adjacent to the highway; and
(B) where pedestrians are not permitted to cross the roadway.