CROSBY – Today, Oct. 27, bus 45 got a ticket for passing a bus picking up pupils at the curve on FM 2100.
Since a video went viral on Click 2 Houston and social media of a local driver passing a school bus in the grass to the right of the bus, the Captain at District 3 of the Harris County Sheriffs Office ordered deputies to monitor and enforce laws inside the proximity of Crosby ISD School Zones.
One deputy wrote 23 tickets on Monday morning. The tickets range from speeding to passing a bus when the red stop sign has been activated.
According to Captain Jesse Inocencio, The Harris County Sheriffs Office has received complaints about people driving past loading and unloading school buses — Morning and afternoon. The Harris County Sheriffs Office District 3 Joint Task Force is conducting a traffic initiative on FM 2100 and surrounding area to include the Goose Creek and Crosby ISD. This is our second initiative this school year and we have already cited over 50 violators. This initiative began on Monday, October 19 and will continue for several weeks. We hope to get the publics attention and gain compliance with the law.
The increase in traffic enforcement has drawn a reaction already. One resident was out filming the traffic stops on FM 2100 Tuesday morning saying he intends to prove that his wife had gotten a ticket on Oct. 26 wrongfully because when she passed the bus the sign was not yet fully extended as the bus was still rolling to a stop.
He expressed outrage at the truck driver that was caught on a dash camera between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m. last Thursday on Bohemian Hall Rd. that stopped behind the stopped bus then hit the gas and drove around the side of the bus where children exit.
But the resident added, I guess about 82% of these stops are bull and we are going to alert people that this $1,200 ticket writing is out of control.
The driver of the truck has already turned himself in for the incident. However, there is a problem with commuters school zones and bus stops.
According to Dr. Keith Moore, Superintendent of Crosby ISD, I was pleased to hear that the driver of the truck turned himself in. I understand that stopping for our buses makes already difficult commutes even longer, but choosing to go around loading buses is genuinely careless, callous and dangerous behavior. Deservedly so, this driver will face significant fines and public ridicule but lets be sure to understand that this is not an isolated incident. Too many Texas drivers are playing Russian Roulette with our childrens lives everyday.
Captain Inocencio continued, Here are some myths or misunderstandings that we hear from the violators that I will address:
Myth: I dont have to stop on a four lane highway with a center turn lane WRONG: You do have to stop on both sides of the roadway behind the bus and the opposite direction.
Myth: I dont have to stop if there is a solid center stripe WRONG: You do have to stop both ways regardless of a solid center stripe.
Myth: If there are no houses or children coming from the opposite side of the school bus then why should I stop? WRONG: you must stop if there is no center median- the law does not give you a choice.
In truth drivers do not have to stop on a divided highway with a center median, such as a grassy median is present, if you are approaching from the opposite direction of the bus. Those going the same direction of the bus must STOP.
The bottom line is that we do not want to write these tickets, our main concern is for the safety of the children and if we prevent a tragic event from happening then we are all doing the right thing.
Drivers near school districts and buses might better stay off cell phones and operate within the law or face hefty fines.