Motorists stuck in traffic, behind a school bus that's loading or unloading children,  and in such a big hurry they're thinking about going around that bus, would be wise to take a deep breath, count to ten and think again.  A Department of Public Safety officer may be watching.

This initiative is part of National School Bus Safety Week, which runs through Friday Oct 21.

Texas DPS State troopers are riding on and following school buses across the state this week to remind motorists that it’s against the law to pass any school bus that has stopped and activated its flashing red lights.

The law was passed to protect children getting on and off  school buses, but some motorists ignore those flashing lights, and, tragically, children are injured and even killed.

Here are some eye opening statistics. Last year alone, statewide, DPS troopers wrote more than 400 tickets for passing a stopped school bus.  Hundreds more tickets were issued by local city and county law officers.

And those are just the ones that were seen.  No one knows how many motorists weren't caught and ticketed.

We do know there were 762 accidents involving school buses last year. In those crashes, one person died and 89 people had serious injuries.

Here's what the DPS is doing about it this week. State Troopers riding on buses who see a motorist drive around the bus will radio ahead to other troopers who will stop that person and issue a ticket. They can be fined up to $1,000.

Troopers in cars are patrolling areas where school buses pick up and drop off children, watching for motorists violating the school bus law.

So there.  You're been warned.

pr101411.pdf (application/pdf Object).

The Director of the Texas DPS, Steven McCraw, says “The safety of children riding on school buses is important, and we will do everything we can to ensure that Texas drivers obey the law. Drivers will receive tickets if they do not stop for school buses as required.”