To help keep the buses moving, the Dallas ISD board said Thursday that for the first time in years they will allow teachers to sign up to drive buses. Bus drivers must walk down the aisle, looking at every seat and under every seat.
The Department of Public Safety reported that 3,659 bus drivers across the state reported 703 stop-arm violations in just one day during the annual School Bus Stop Arm Survey held earlier this year.
When preparing to stop, bus drivers will activate yellow flashing lights to signal to motorist the need to reduce speed and prepare to stop.
Those waiting on the opposite side of the road from a bus stop should wait until the bus stops, the red flashing lights are on, the stop arm is extended and all traffic has stopped before crossing the street in front of the bus.
One recurring issue for bus drivers are vehicles that pass stopped buses.
Law enforcement takes school bus stop arm and school patrol crossing guard flag violations very seriously.
But once drivers are on Veterans Parkway, which has a grass median, they must stop only for a bus going in their direction.
TODAY'S FORECAST: Mostly cloudy, chance of showers and thunderstorms
WEDNESDAY: Partly cloudy skies and warm temperatures will be around for Wednesday, with a slight chance for a stray shower. There is a 40 percent chance of rain, and the forecast indicates scattered showers and storms, according to NWS.
The relationship between the two agencies has become strained amid concerns of late student pickups, questionable management and financial struggles for the countywide bus agency, Dallas County Schools.
Indiana State Police is keeping a close eye on schools, too.
Tillman said that Colquitt County school bus drivers who see violators and can get their vehicles' tag numbers fill out a form and the information is passed on to the 911 center.
Vehicles traveling in the same direction as a school bus must always stop, but motorists traveling in the opposite direction can proceed (with caution) when there is an unpaved median or concrete barrier separating the opposing lanes. "It's not unusual to have three or four violations a week here". About 400 drivers are making sure they can finish their routes with all the stops on time.
Fifteen other buses that failed last week's inspection will be re-inspected next week.
Bell said SR 58 is expected to be closed for at least another month. This is particularly true during the school year. "I really, really, don't want to pull over a faculty member, but I will if I have to". If it is not a divided road, even if it's a four-way street, drivers must stop.