Drivers urged to use caution as Grayson County students head bac - - No One Gets You Closer

Drivers urged to use caution as Grayson County students head back to school

SHERMAN -- The first day of school for most students in Grayson County is now in the books.

As more busses and parents hit the roads to drop off or pick up children, Sherman police begins patrolling schools zones again, too.

Over and over, our cameras spotted drivers on their cell phones Monday in a school zone.

But there's nothing illegal about it since school zone lights weren't flashing.

Still, Sherman police say the safest bet is to stay off cell phones near schools altogether while class is in session.

"If you can just stay off your cell phone long enough that you don't end up injuring one of the students that's the best thing," Sherman Police Sgt. DM Hampton. "Common sense prevails." Especially since the rules vary at different campuses.

By Fairview Elementary, no cell phones are allowed when the lights are flashing.

Near Dillingham Intermediate, signs prohibit them between 7 and 8:30am and 2:45 and 3:30pm.

In another school zone near Sherman High, it's against the law to use a cell phone anytime between 7am and 4pm.

"There are exceptions," Sgt. Hampton said. "If you're trying to contact emergency medical people for something that you see and there's other things like that but you're talking about a very rare instance. Most people are on there trying to update social media or talking on the phone."

Randy Reddell, director of transportation at Sherman ISD says the district transports about 3,000 students per day on up to 52 busses.

Despite the warnings, he says it's common to see drivers passing a stopped school bus.

"People will go through those red lights quite frequently," Reddell said.

Under state and local law, all drivers must stop when red lights on a bus are flashing and the stop arm is extended, rules of the road that could spell disaster if ignored.

"It could result in an accident or unfortunately, worse than that, a fatality or something very serious," Reddell said.

The fine for using a cell phone in a school zone is about $200.

The fine for passing a school bus is between $500 and $1,250.