Driving past a stopped school bus? Police cracking down on drivers

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Sugar Land police officers will be looking for drivers who blow past parked school buses. (KTRK)

A Sugar Land mom's photo of a driver ignoring school bus lights has prompted the city to take action.

Last week, Mai Vu snapped a photo after a driver continued to move past her child's bus.

"On that day, that lady, she's just creeping in," said Vu. "I'm standing outside and I'm waving at her, and I kept saying, stop, stop!"

Vu said elementary students were getting on the bus when a driver ignored the stop sign and red lights.

She told Eyewitness News she had her camera ready because this isn't the first time this has happened.

"They need to respect the law," Vu said.

Because of this, she posted the photo to social media.

Sugar Land city council member Steve Porter saw it, and reached out to officers.

When spring break ends Monday, he has asked police for extra bus enforcement.

"I'm very happy and so glad," Vu said.

Drivers blowing past stopped buses is a problem that Texas Highway Patrol tries to crackdown on.

Over the past two years, troopers statewide have handed out 1,100 citations and 573 warnings for people driving by a stopped school bus.

Getting caught comes with a stiff penalty. Drivers face a misdemeanor charge and a fine of upwards of $1,250.

The law requires drivers to stop if the bus has its red lights on.

The only time motorists on the opposite side can go past a parked bus, is when there's a median separating lanes.

It's a law aimed to protect students like third grader Kumayl Mohemed Soonasra.

"Some people listen to that signal and stop after the bus driver puts out that signal, and some people actually don't," Soonasra said.

He rides the bus in Sugar Land that was in the photo.

Now that officers will be watching next week, he's hoping that kind of behavior will stop.

"It makes it scarier because like when cars are coming fast, I don't know if they're going to stop, or go," Soonasra said.

Fort Bend Independent School District sent Eyewitness News a statement about the photo.

"Keeping our students safe takes a community-wide effort so it's important that drivers are mindful of their driving when near buses and school zones, obeying all traffic laws and exercising caution."
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