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Thousands of parents depend on school buses to get their children to and from school safely. But part of that safety depends on the drivers around the bus. That brings us to the first question.
True or False: State law says you must stop for flashing red lights.
DPS Trooper Sparky Dean says, "The answer is true. Whether you're meeting the bus or whether you're following the bus, you must stop . The only exception is when the bus stops on the other side of the roadway, like a median for example." Not stopping could result in a fine from $200-$1,000.
Tailgating is the fourth leading cause of traffic crashes in Texas. You can avoid fender benders by keeping a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. So, at seventy-miles an hour, how many feet does it take to make a sudden stop.
A. 100 feet
B. 250 feet
C. more than 350 feet
DPS Trooper Robyn Wilson says, "The answer is more than 350 feet, 385 feet to be exact. That's longer than a football field. And that's if you react quickly, have good brakes and the pavement is dry and level. The faster you drive, the more distance you should keep between you and the driver in front of you." Remember the two second rule. When the vehicle in front of you passes a fixed object, like a road sign, you should be able to count two seconds before you pass the same sign. Allow more time when conditions change, like rainy weather or driving at night.
Texas leads the nation in alcohol related traffic deaths, which brings us to the next question.
True or False: If you're stopped for suspicion of drunk driving, you can lose your driver's license immediately.
Trooper Dean says, "The answer is true. If you get pulled over and are found to be intoxicated, you'll be arrested and taken to jail. If you refuse to allow officers to check your blood alcohol level, they're required to confiscate your drivers license on the spot. The law is called automatic license revocation."
Finally, studies show a driver can spot a pedestrian ten times sooner if he or she is wearing reflective clothing.
True or False: Wearing bright colors like red and blue when you walk or jog after dark are good choices if you want to be seen by oncoming drivers.
Trooper Wilson says, "Red or blue or other dark colors may be bright in daylight but they're really hard to see at night. Light colors or white are better choices. And wearing reflective clothing is best of all." If you're walking or running on a street without a sidewalk, always stay on the left side as you're facing traffic so it's easier for drivers to see you and for you to see them.