SPLENDORA, Texas (KTRK) -- School bus safety is at the top of minds across America today. The concern follows Tuesday's horrific accident in Indiana where three children lost their lives.
A survey last year by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services showed illegal passing of school buses remains a national problem. More than 106,000 bus drivers reported that 78,239 vehicles passed them illegally.
The sample results point to millions of violations during a school year. At Splendora ISD's transportation office, safety is their number one priority.
"We know that most fatalities happen with children when they're loading and unloading the bus," said Splendora ISD Transportation Director Darcas Moody.
"These are our babies, our children, our future. That phone call is not that important. That text message is not that important. Wait until you get home," said Moody.
Chief Rex Evans heads the Splendora ISD Police Department. He told us Texas law requires drivers in both directions, to stop for school buses when their red lights are activated. The rule applies to any street which is not divided by a median.
"If there is not divider, you have to stop," said Chief Evans.
"The fine is generally about 500 to 750 dollars for the first time. The second time it can go even higher. Again, it depends on the court but most judges thankfully take that particular offense extremely serious rightfully so in my opinion. You can expect it's going to be a steep hit," Evans said.
Illegally passing a school bus can result in a big fine