The Texas Department of Transportation is urging motorists and parents to use extra caution around school zones and bus stops as Texas children return to school this month.
TxDOT's "Be Safe. Drive Smart" campaign encourages drivers to be careful in school zones, especially when traffic patterns are unpredictable due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TxDOT said.
According to TxDOT, 784 traffic crashes occurred in Texas school zones last year, resulting in one death and 12 serious injuries.
The most common causes of these crashes were driver inattention, failure to control speed, and failure to yield the right of way at a stop sign or when turning left, the department said.
Similarly, TxDOT said five people were killed and 76 were seriously injured last year in the 2,453 traffic crashes involving school buses in Texas. Speed and driver inattention were the top contributing factors in those crashes as well.
In light of the previous crashes involving school ones and school buses, TxDOT is launching its "Be Safe. Drive Smart" back-to-school campaign this week.
The campaign offers tips to help motorists share the road with school buses and drive more safely in school zones, as well as safety tips for children walking or biking to school.