As summer winds down, students will soon be walking and riding bicycles to school.

TxDOT reminds motorists to remain alert and exercise caution when driving through school zones this season.

In 2014, 663 motor vehicle crashes occurred in Texas school zones.

o   August and September are times of particular concern as motorists adjust to school being back in session.

o   In 2014, these months alone saw 107 crashes in school zones.

o   The most common factors contributing to these crashes were driver inattention, failure to control speed and failure to yield right-of-way.

These simple tips can help drivers avoid costly fines and tickets while keeping Texas children safe as they make their way to school.

Tips for Driving in School Zones

o   Turn off your cell phone. The use of cell phones is not permitted in active school zones.

o   Violators face fines up to $200 in school zones where signs are posted.

o   Slow down and obey school zone speed limit signs. Traffic fines usually double in school zones.

o   Always come to a complete stop at stop signs. Check for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.

Tips for Children Walking or Biking to School

o   Whenever possible, stay on sidewalks and use marked crosswalks.

o   When crossing streets, make eye contact with drivers and then look left, right and left again before proceeding.

o   Look for traffic when stepping off a bus or from behind parked cars and never run into the street.

o   Always wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

Tips for Sharing the Road with School Buses

o   Always stop for flashing red lights on a school bus, regardless of which direction you’re headed, unless you’re on the other side of a divided highway.

o   Be prepared to stop at all railroad crossings if you are behind a school bus.

o   Watch for children who might run across the street as they get on or off the bus.