This week marks the first week of school for many of our students here in Deep East Texas. Yes, I know that there are still a few schools that haven't started yet, but lots of them started this week. With that being said, that means that there are now more traffic rules that need to be observed.

First, don't go speeding past the school bus that's got it's red lights flashing, with a stop sign hanging off the side. That works the same way as a regular stop sign on the side of the road. I realize that lots of you don't pay that one any attention either, but hopefully considering that kids are involved, you will come to a complete stop behind the school bus, and those 15-30 seconds that you have to wait on won't ruin your entire day.

Second, keep an eye on those school zones. We've got a few new ones in our neck of the woods, and if you get pulled over for not obeying them, the fines are CONSIDERABLY higher. Maybe a hard shot to your bank account will convince you to follow the big yellow signs, bright flashing lights, and layers upon layers of pavement paint telling you to slow down.

Third, PUT THE PHONE DOWN! Yes, you will in fact survive without having it attached to you for a few minutes. It's still somewhat mind-blowing to me that we're still trying to drive this point home to people. Fines of having your phone out in a school zone are pretty hefty. And it's just super-dangerous to be texting around the school buses anyway. DON'T DO IT.

Maybe it's time to impose new laws for these school traffic violations. Perhaps jack up the fines even higher? Maybe even add a bit of community service time to the monetary penalties. Then, people might use a bit of common sense around the children of East Texas.

What are your thoughts on school zone penalties? Should they be higher? Or are they already high enough? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.