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Local leaders ask for your help to keep back-to-school traffic safe

Chief Brian Manley joined AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz for the bus ride today to show how they're working together to keep our kids safe. (CBS Austin)

Laying down the law. Local leaders prepare to keep students safe as they head back to school. But they can't do it without you.

First day of school in Austin ISD is Monday, August 20. The school buses are already making their practice runs including a new run this year. It will carry Doss Elementary students to Lucy Read School while Doss is rebuilt.

AISD’s transportation director says their buses have the latest safety features including the unblinking eye watching out for trouble on the roads. Kris Hafezizadeh explains, “All of our big regular education buses are equipped with a stop-on camera." Austin Police Chief Brian Manley adds, “The law says you must stop for school buses when their safety arm is extended or the lights are flashing and there are significant fines for those who do not." He says those fines could reach $1,250.

Chief Manley joined AISD Superintendent Paul Cruz for the bus ride today to show how they're working together to keep our kids safe. Cruz explained, “All this is about making sure that our kids get to school on time and are safe every single day."

Cruz says 22,000 of AISD’s 82,000 students ride the bus daily which is a big expense for the district. “As a chapter 41 district or property wealthy district we do not get funding for transportation but it's a $30 million annual cost," he said.

The district and the city invest a lot in transportation safety, but it really ends up depending a lot of on you. Chief Manley says, "We want to remind the community don't text and drive. It's always dangerous but especially now that we've got the kids back on the roads going to and from school."

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