TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – With Bowie County schools starting back school this week and next, the police in Texarkana, Texas are encouraging school zone safety.

School zones are activated on the day the district reopens, which is August 17, 2022, for the Texarkana Independent School District.

Police say drivers need to slow down to the posted speed limit when the lights are flashing, check carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks, stay off cell phones, and be aware at all times while around school buses. It is illegal to be on your cell phone in a school zone.

Police also urge drivers to pay attention to bus safety arms.

“If you come across a bus that’s stopped, either picking up kids or dropping them off you need to stop,” said Shawn Vaughn with TTPD. “If the lights are flashing, stop and give those kids an opportunity to cross the road whatever they need to do.”

Drivers who illegally pass a school bus face fines up to $1,250 for the first offense.