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MARBLE FALLS — Traffic picks up when school starts for most area school districts Aug. 25. However, it’s not just parents and high school students going to and from school that add to traffic.

It’s school buses, too.

Marble Falls Independent School District has about 55 buses carrying 1,800 kids a day. With that number of buses on the road from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and in the afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., drivers must remember bus safety laws.

“Some parents aren’t aware of this, and they’ll speed around us,” said Nelda Henley, assistant director of MFISD transportation. “Anytime you see a bus stopped on the road, you need to look up and see if the red lights are on. The only time you don’t stop if a bus is stopped with the red loading lights on is if there is a median in the middle of the road.”

Drivers must stop when a school bus is stopped and has its lights on and/or has a stop sign showing. Drivers can proceed when either the bus begins moving again, the bus driver signals to you to proceed or the signal is no longer on.

Still, Henley said some drivers pay little or no attention.

“We’ve even had people who, when the buses are stopped, tried to pass on the right-hand side where the kids are getting off,” she said. “That’s where kids get hurt the most is loading and unloading.”

MFISD reported no accidents last year, but according to the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 449 tickets issued in 2012 for passing a stopped school bus. Last year, there were 840 crashes in the state involving a school bus.

One more rule to remember: Cell phone use is banned in school zones.

Henley said the district’s bus route information is on its website at