School is in session

They're BIG, they're yellow, and you need to be careful around them!

Back to school time is an exciting time for families in Comal County. Along with new clothes, school supplies, and seeing old friends again comes the reminder that we all need to play it safe around school buses.

In addition, Comal Independent School District is bringing back its Customer Service Center that will be in operation through Aug. 20 to answer parents' questions.

In an effort to provide quality customer service, the Student Transportation Services department is operating its Customer Service Center hotline, that will be available to answer parents' questions about bus numbers, bus stops and routes. The Center will be open through Aug. 20, Monday through Friday, during the hours of 5 to 9 pm. Parents can call 830-221-2182 (New Braunfels), 830-885-1790 (GVTC), or 830-609-6703 (San Antonio metro).

In addition, parents can visit the department's updated website at where they can also get bus route information using the TransFinder Guide.

Drively safely in school zones and around school buses also is important. Starting Aug. 17, more than 160 school buses will hit Comal County roads picking up and dropping off children. More than 6,000 Comal ISD children are transported on about 130 routes each day.

"We are asking drivers to be very careful around school buses morning, noon and night," says Joe Jones, Director of Student Transportation Services.

"Our drivers go through extensive safety training and we all need to be aware of our speed and distance around school buses in order to help our bus drivers."

General tips for drivers to follow when they are around school buses:

1. Yellow overhead flashing lights means the bus is about to pick up or drop off children.

2. Red overhead flashing lights and the STOP arm extended means the bus is picking up or dropping off children. Stop your vehicle no closer than 50 feet from the bus. Do not pass the bus. Be aware of children crossing the road. Proceed only after the lights are off.

3. Emergency flashers on a bus mean you need to be aware of the bus and its surroundings. It may be crossing railroad tracks.

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