MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – The 2022-2023 school year will kick off soon for students across Mississippi.

In Madison, police want to make sure their drivers and students stay safe when it comes to school buses.

“With school starting back, there’s going to be an influx in traffic, in and around the community, and we just ask you to first off leave in a reasonable amount of time to get there. There’s going to be school buses on the road picking up kids, so be mindful in your neighborhoods where school bus drop-offs are,” explained Lt. Micah Taylor with the Madison Police Traffic Division.

Here are some tips for parents while their children are waiting for their school bus:

  • Always make sure to walk your kids to the bus stop and wait with them until it arrives
  • Kids should stand at least three giant steps back from to curb as the bus approaches
  • Kids should board the bus one at a time
  • Kids should also wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before getting on and off

“When those stop bars are out, you have to stop. If you pass it, you can be cited and that holds up to a minimum of a $350 fine with a maximum of $750,” said Taylor.

If your child needs to cross the street after exiting the bus, he or she should always make eye contact with the bus driver and cross once the driver indicates it is safe. Make sure the kids are looking both ways before they cross the street, as well.

“Know the school zones. Know when you’re coming up to a school zone to please slow down. There are time frames where the speed limit is reduced, so you want to slow down and be mindful of those speed limit changes. We will have officers in those school areas monitoring the speeding and the violations that will occur and also traffic officers in those intersections helping to get kids across the street or directing parents in and out of school traffic,” said Taylor.

Kids should use handrails to enter or exit the bus and watch for straps or drawstrings that could get caught in the door. If a child drops something, they should notify the bus driver to make sure they are able to see them before they pick something up.

Drivers should also slow down when approaching a school bus with flashing yellow or red lights. The bus is either preparing to stop (yellow) or already stopped (red) with children getting ready to get on or off.